THE OUTBREAK

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We have only known about Lyme disease since 1975, but now the discovery of an amber-encased 15-million-year-old tick has revealed that the bacteria that causes the disease has been around much, much longer than the human race. The discovery was made by George Poinar, Jr. from Oregon State University, and the findings were published in Historical Biology. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria in the genus Borrelia, which uses ticks as… Read More

  YARMOUTH — Confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in Nova Scotia nearly tripled in 2013 over the previous year. The dramatic hike in numbers was not unexpected, said provincial Health and Wellness Department officials. The number of cases, including probable ones, in 2013 was 155, department spokesman Tony Kiritsis said recently. In 2012, the number of cases was 52, and in 2011, it was 57. “There could be a lot… Read More

Lyme disease, if not treated promptly with antibiotics, can become a lingering problem for those infected. But a new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has some brighter news: Once infected with a particular strain of the disease-causing bacteria, humans appear to develop immunity against that strain that can last six to nine years. The finding doesn’t give people who have already had the disease license to wander outside… Read More

The western fence lizard may buffer against Lyme Disease. How?  The lizard’s blood is potent to the Lyme-disease causative bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. When ticks try to feed on lizard Lizards are, therefore, low in ‘reservoir competence,’ a measure of efficient ability of an animal to infect an uninfected tick. What’s that mean? Habitats or regions that have higher densities of lizards may ultimately have lower numbers of infected ticks and that indirectly… Read More