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Diseases and Illnesses

W&M: Cold winters kill tick-borne diseases, not ticks

W&M: Cold winters kill tick-borne diseases, not ticks

Ticks have made Virginia home for decades to the ire of Virginians, but at the College of William and Mary, research is underway on how tick-borne diseases change annually.

College of William and Mary professor Matthias Leu has spent the past seven years studying how long-term weather patterns can change the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases.

"Cold winters decrease the prevalence or the proportion of infected (Lone Star) ticks with the zoonotic disease Ehrlichia Chaffeensis," Leu said of his research. "That's a bacteria and it causes similar symptoms to Lyme disease. … It's not something to be cavalier about."

While his research showed a...

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