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Health PEI seeks more tick samples

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Health PEI is asking Prince Edward Island residents to submit samples of biting ticks for a study tracking the human risk of tick-borne illness on Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Greg German, Health PEI medical microbiologist, said the laboratory he works at receives about 80 ticks a year from family and emergency room doctors but he wants to get more, especially the smaller sized ticks which can be the size of a poppy seed.

Ticks carry the potential for spreading Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection that can have severe symptoms if not caught early.

“Studies from diagnostic laboratories can help us better understand our risk and improve prevention information to the public about checking for ticks. We are currently considered low risk for Lyme disease in P.E.I, but we want more confidence in that rating,” German said in the press release.

Islanders can bring ticks to any Health PEI laboratory for analysis if they were directly attached to a human. Tick collection kits are also available in laboratory locations.

Health PEI reassures the public that this “analysis will not replace testing of those patients who show symptoms of a tick-borne illness or those who have health concerns due to a tick bite.”

 

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