Marion Garden Group to host “Tick Talk” on February 7 at Tabor Academy

By Marion Garden Group | Jan 31, 2017

On  Tuesday February 7, at 9:00 am, Larry Dapsis, an entomologist & specialist on deer ticks from the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension will speak about Lyme Disease and the recently discovered, dangerous & deadly tick-born disease named Powassan Virus, discovered on Cape Cod this past summer.

The program is open to the public and a guest fee of $5.00 will be collected at the door.  The event takes place at the Tabor Great Room, 188 Front Street.  Parking is available across the street at Island Wharf.

Mr. Dapnis holds a master’s degree in entomology from UMass Amherst and worked for nearly 25 years at Ocean Spray Cranberry, Inc.  In his current position as entomologist for the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, he has conducted tick surveillance at regional sites to determine the presence of tick-borne infections and viruses.  In July of 2016, the Cape Cod Times reported a new potentially serious tick-borne illness known as Powassan virus.  ”It adds a new dimension," Dapsis has been quoted as saying. "Instead of four tick-borne illnesses with deer ticks, now we have five."

New research indicates that the virus has spread among deer ticks in several Cape towns.  There were nine cases of Powassan virus among residents of Barnstable, Essex, Middlesex and Norfolk counties from 2013 to 2015, according to the Cape Cod Times.  All of the individuals were ill enough to be hospitalized.

Other tick borne illnesses are Lyme disease, miyamotoi, babesiosis and anaplasmosis. In rare cases Lyme carditis, babesiois and anaplasmosis infections have turned deadly. Powassan differs from these other tick-borne infections in that it is a virus rather than a bacterial illness. "It's more like a cousin to West Nile virus," say the experts.

Marion gardeners and others interested in learning about  ticks are invited to this informative program.  For more information, check the Marion Garden Group website at mariongardengroup.com or join us on February 7.

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