Everyone is excited that summer is on the way. While everyone cannot wait for the warm season to come, we should also be prepared for the diseases that brought by the hot season. Among others, we need to watch out for diseases that are transmitted by our pets and other animals commonly known as Tick-borne Disease.
Tick-borne Disease are diseases or illnesses transmitted by ticks. These illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of bacteria, viruses and protozoa brought by ticks. Diseases are becoming a serious problem especially during spring and summer months.
One of the newest Tick-borne disease to be indentified is called Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). This will develop a bull's-eye rash similar to that found in Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick.
Humans are not the only one affected by these illnesses. Diseases such as Dermatophilosis also known as Senkobo - a tick-borne disease- have been affecting cattle mostly in Mzola and Matshokotsha wards parts of Lupe district
"Many Farmers have lost a number of animals for the past 10 years because of Senkobo. This has not only affected our efforts to increase our herd but it has also made it difficult for us to plough since we depend on cattle for draught power." Dr. Moyo said.
Researchers are continually developing new tool against tick-borne diseases. Post-doctoral researcher Brian Allan figured out which wild animals carry those tick-borne diseases and used the tick's bloody meal to do it. Allan says that with the help of a new technology, he and his colleagues were able to identify the DNA in the blood meal of disease-carrying ticks- and thus identify which species of wild animal the ticks fed on.
Knowing this, they can now break the disease transmission cycle, by finding ways to prevent ticks from feeding on those hosts.