Harsh Winter Might Have Actually Helped Deer Tick Population This Year

…But ticks should be gone by now. Typically, they hate the cold. But apparently this has been a strange year.
“We know snow insulates,” explains Rick Ostfeld, an ecologist with the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in the Hudson Valley town of Millbrook. He continues, “So it makes sense that it would be protective for ticks. READ

Powassan — Tick-Borne Terror Virus Or Too Much Media Hype?

Powassan is a virus, related to West Nile flavivirus, and is transmitted by ticks. While it is rare—diagnosed less than 50 times in the past 10 years—it is scary because it can cause encephalitis, or a brain infection. More often, people who are infected develop no symptoms, but surveys show that about 1-4% of people in endemic areas show antibodies to the virus, indicating past exposure without illness.  READ

Life after Lyme disease: Avril Lavigne to release a Christmas album

Aside from an album, Avril is working with Special Olympics foundation for her upcoming single ‘Fly’, which was inspired by the foundation itself. The single will also be featured in this year’s Special Olympics World Games. Just recently, Avril, in a magazine interview, narrated how she dealt with the Lyme disease which she contracted while on a vacation.

Speaking to People magazine, Avril described how hard it was for her during the early stage of the disease. READ

For ticks, researchers find lemur noses to be males only in Madagascar

Ticks have long been known to inhabit the noses of chimpanzees, presumably because the chimps aren’t able to pluck them off during grooming. Now scientists from Ohio State University, Duke University and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium report that ticks are also prevalent in the noses of endangered lemurs. Their findings appear in an article in the Journal of Medical Entomology. READ

How Science Lost a PR War and We Lost a Lyme Disease Vaccine

n 1998, GlaxoSmithKline released a vaccine. It was made from a protein found on the surface of the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi; you get a dose and it triggers antibodies, which, rather than killing the bacteria, travelled into the tick itself, knocking out the bacteria at its source before it can enter the body. As far as vaccine mechanisms go, it’s pretty clever and one-of-a-kind. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before things to go downhill. READ