Ticks, and Lyme disease, which is attributed, are gaining ground in Ottawa. A recent study shows that 30 % of the parasites examined by a team of scientists from the University of Ottawa carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, very dangerous for the human.
From 2016 to 2017, the cases of Lyme disease have more than doubled in Ottawa, from 74 to 186 people infected.
Manisha Kulkarni and Roman Kryuchkov, researchers at the Faculty of medicine of the University of Ottawa, have come to many conclusions concern after you have picked up samples in various sectors of the capital.
The two researchers, dressed in dry suits, collected ticks paw black in sheets of flannel, a material that retains well-this type of parasite, also known as the deer tick.
In the west
It seems that the west of the city is more affected by ticks infected by the bacterium ‘Borrelia burgdorferi’, the origin of Lyme disease in humans.
Measuring only three millimeters, this tick can lead to lives of hell in people. The infection is transmitted when the tick clings to the skin of its host to feed on blood.
The symptoms consist of joint pain, extreme fatigue, facial paralysis and even heart disease.
The research of Dr. Kulkarni are among the first of its kind in the Ottawa area. They are spread out over three years, in 23 sites of the city, such as municipal parks, conservation areas and forests, of the six recreational trails and a provincial park or the greenbelt.
70 % of these sites are infected blacklegged ticks.
Their density is higher in the trails and forests.
“No tick has been found in urban parks, confirm scientists. (But) our study demonstrates that populations of ticks are more widespread than had been thought in the Ottawa area, says Dr. Kulkarni. Ticks begin to appear in certain areas of the city more quickly than we had expected. “
The study points to a particular region, Carp Hills, (west) as being particularly welcoming to this type of parasite. The researchers want to further monitor the banks of the Ottawa river, in the next year.
The tick black tab is only starting its migration to the north. According to Dr. Kulkarni, climate change will facilitate the life of these critters and unwanted, and to allow for their proliferation on a large scale. Ticks can also carry a bacterium called anaplasmosis, which is the origin of fevers, significant, chills, headache and an intense feeling of discomfort.
“The prevention of tick bites and prompt removal of attached ticks on the skin is important because it can significantly reduce the risk of infection in human and prevent the disease,” says Dr. Kulkarni.