Clarke-Backed Program Takes Aim at Ticks
June 4, 2015,
By Val Van Meter
BERRYVILLE — Ticks drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Joint Government Center on Thursday night to hear experts explain the dangers of tick-borne diseases and how to avoid them.
The informational program, sponsored by the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, featured four speakers: Monte Skall, executive director of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association; Virginia State Public Health entomologist David Gaines; Dr. Charles Devine, director of the Lord Fairfax Health District; and Dr. Sherif Kaiser of Berryville Medical Associates.
Gaines gave a quick tutorial in how to identify some of the most frequently encountered ticks, like the Blacklegged Tick, the Lone Star Tick and the American Dog Tick, both adult and nymph stages. The younger versions are often the most likely to carry some of the many diseases ticks can pass to humans, like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Reports of tick-borne diseases “shot through the roof” in 2007, Gaines said, and have remained high ever since.
“This is a real increase,” Gaines said, not just the effect of more surveillance.
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