Home Health Study finds more tickborne illnesses across Canada through more rigorous testing

Study finds more tickborne illnesses across Canada through more rigorous testing

by News Desk
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Quebec-based researchers want more comprehensive tests to monitor ticknon-pathogen Lyme disease It is found in ticks throughout Canada.

Kirsten Crandall McGill UniversityThe pathogen Babesia odocoilei has been found in animals such as elk and deer in Saskatchewan.

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Crandall said the pathogen and another Rickettsia rickettsii have been found outside the historical geographic region.

“The reason these two pathogens are particularly important is that the Babesia pathogen can actually cause Babesiosis, a disease that affects humans. And Rickettsia causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). It is possible, and this is also another disease that humans can become infected with.

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She said their study, which combined findings from McGill University and the University of Ottawa, found these diseases in ticks and small mammals, but said they could spread to people.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes babesiosis as a disease caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells.

It is usually found in small mammals, but there are some examples in humans.

Symptoms of babesiosis include fever, chills, headache, sweating, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue. CDC adds that it can be serious or life-threatening for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Rickettsia and rabbit mites.

Kirsten Crandall/McGill University

RMSF is a serious tick-borne disease that can be fatal if not treated early.

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The CDC lists symptoms of RMSF such as fever, headache, rash, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle pain, and loss of appetite.

Long-term health problems can lead to permanent damage such as amputation, deafness, paralysis, and mental impairment.

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The only reason they found these pathogens, Crandall said, was due to more comprehensive testing, adding that some of the studies found pathogens not normally found in Quebec. I am asking you to strengthen it.

“We’ve tested all different tick life stages, including larvae, which aren’t typically tested in research work, and we’re looking for additional pathogens rather than the more common pathogens.”

Kirsten Crandall doing fieldwork in a protective suit.

Kirsten Crandall/McGill University

She said the study goes beyond what we usually look for in research related to ticks.

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“If we don’t even know where these ticks and tick-borne pathogens are, how can we protect ourselves when we go outdoors and enjoy time with others?”

Crandall knows a lot about Lyme disease, but less about other pathogens that are starting to become more common in ticks found in Canada.

“If we can find high concentrations of ticks infected with these pathogens, we may start to see human cases of these diseases.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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