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Quinnipiac University Scholar Stephen Wikel to Speak at ODU About Increasing Threat of Ticks and Tick-Borne Illness

By Betsy Hnath

Stephen Wikel, a visiting speaker in the Daniel E. and Helen N. Sonenshine Lecture Series in Infectious Diseases, will focus on an increasing threat in Hampton Roads: ticks.

Wikel is professor and chair emeritus of medical sciences and founding senior associate dean and St. Vincent Medical Center Endowed Chair of the Frank H. Netter, M.D., School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. His talk, "Ticks and Tick-Transmitted Diseases: Clever and Increasing Threats to Our Well-Being," will be held from 7:30-8:30 p.m. March 21 in room 102 of the Mills Godwin Building on the Old Dominion University campus.

Public awareness and concerns about ticks and the diseases associated with their bites are increasing as we become more aware of their significant impacts on our health and lifestyle.

Ticks are important medical and veterinary public-health concerns due to their ability to transmit the most diverse array of infectious agents of any blood-feeding arthropod; their stimulation of allergic reactions; blood loss and direct damage to the skin of pets, domestic animals and wildlife; and increasingly significant economic losses.

Wikel will discuss changing geographic ranges and abundance of established North American tick species; emergence and resurgence of tick-borne infectious agents; the link between tick saliva and red-meat allergy; and a strategy for enhanced tick and tick-transmitted pathogen surveillance.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences at Old Dominion University.

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