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Officials to study ticks in Alaska to determine danger level

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A new project will examine ticks found in Alaska to see if they carry the pathogens that cause Lyme disease, tularemia or other illnesses.

The Anchorage Daily News reports this is the first time researchers will go out looking for ticks in Alaska parks and examine whether those ticks carry diseases.’

The research team includes biologists, veterinarians and researchers from the University of Alaska, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Office of the State Veterinarian.

Officials say the study is to get a “baseline” so they can monitor things before the ticks become a problem.

The Anchorage Daily News previously reported that ticks that infest red squirrels, snowshoe hares and some birds have long been found in parts of the state.

Officials say non-native ticks arrive in Alaska regularly on animals and people from outside the state.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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