The ins and outs of ticks and their diseases

Jocelyn Turner
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Dr. Vett Lloyd, a biology professor from Mount Allison University in Sackville holds up a tiny medicine bottle filled with tiny ticks to give guests to her presentation an idea of how hard they are to see. Lloyd discussed how more ticks have become infected with lime disease and talked about different ways to protect yourself from getting infected. 

TRUEMANVILLE – They can be as small as a poppy seed or as big as the end of your pinky finger. Either way, ticks can be dangerous.

Dr. Vett Lloyd, a biology professor at Mount Allison University in Sackville came out to the Truemanville Fire Department last night to hold an information session about ticks and how they can infect you with lyme disease.

“I’m going to talk about the basic information of lyme disease: how do you catch it, the bacteria that causes it and what’s happening in Canada,” said Lloyd. “I’ll finish up talking about some recent research with data from a number of resources including the work done by my lab showing that it’s spreading in the region and that it’s becoming a healthy concern because we are getting more infected ticks.”

Her presentation also covered the symptoms of lyme disease and its prevalence in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. She also talked about whether or not someone infected with the disease is able to shake the symptoms or not.

Ian Ripley, the general manager with Athol Forestry Co-operative, said, as part of National Forestry Week, it would be a good, informative, session to bring out Lloyd and have her educate residents about the disease.

“I think al knowledge being transferred out to people who either work in the forest or who go out to enjoy the forest whether it be recreational enjoyment or out camping, and (as Dr. Lloyd will address) there are a variety of ways to come into contact with these, it’s a good way to share information and make people more knowledgeable.”

Ripley said he was very impressed with the turn out. He was able to chat with a few people in attendance and discovered the disease had affected many of them.

“The more I talk with the people here, the more I learn that they have been touched by lyme disease,” he said. “It amazes me. They’re looking for answers and a better outcome for the next person who may become infected. It’s a lot more than I expected.”

Ivan Fromm enjoyed Lloyd’s presentation. He said he found it to be very informative and the information useful for when he goes back out to work.

“I work with the Department of Transportation and we work in the ditches and I thought I’d come out see what was going on,” he said. “We had some stuff like this at work but not to this extent. It’s right up to date. We know the ticks are here and we have to learn to protect ourselves from them.”

jturner@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Mount Allison University, Truemanville Fire Department, Athol Forestry Co Department of Transportation

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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