A convergence of northern and southern tick cousins on the Middle Peninsula could lead to an increase in Lyme disease cases here, and an Old Dominion University professor is tracking the ticks in an effort to stay ahead of any future problem.
Associate Professor Holly Gaff, Ecological Sciences Ph.D. Graduate Program Director in the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University, was at Fort Nonsense in Mathews on Monday gathering ticks for her ongoing study of two species of black-legged tick—Ixodes affinis and its cousin Ixodes scapularis, or deer tick.
Ixodes affinis, which doesn’t have a common name but which also feeds on deer, has been steadily spreading up through Virginia from the south and has now reached as far north as Lancaster and Northumberland counties. The deer tick has spread down to Virginia from the north and has been particularly virulent in Northern Virginia, where it has caused a significant increase in cases of Lyme disease.
Gaff said ...
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