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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Ticks and Diseases

2012-10-19

Ticks and the diseases they carry are in a continual state of movement across North America. It's important to talk to your veterinarian about concerns you have regarding our geographical region, but also if you plan on travelling to other destinations across the US and Canada.

"Tick-borne diseases differ with regions. While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, new research suggests that it is not the greatest cause for concern in most Southeastern states, according to Medical News Today. The findings were published recently in a paper in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health. The majority of human-biting ticks in the North -- members of the blacklegged tick species --cause Lyme disease, but these same ticks do not commonly bite humans south of mid-Virginia. Biologist Graham Hickling of the University of Tennessee, co-author of the paper, says many patients in Southeastern states, who become sick from a tick-bite, assume they have Lyme disease, but the odds of that being the case are low. "Ticks in the eastern U.S. collectively carry more than a dozen agents that can cause human disease," says Hickling. Most bites in the Southeast are from the tick species that spread spotted fever rickettsiosis and ehrlichiosis, but not Lyme disease. A complicating factor for public health officials is that tick species are on the move, as wildlife populations, forest habitats and weather patterns change across the continent."

--Content from Midwest Veterinary Supply