Tick-Borne Diseases May Spread More Easily With Global Warming

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While some studies say global warming is not to blame for an upswing in tick-borne disease occurances, a new experiment shows that warmer temperatures are indeed a problem when it comes to ticks turning towards humans for lunch. After noticing several instances of tick-borne illnesses affecting humans during particularly hot times, Didier Raoult, a professor at the University of Marseille School of Medicine in France, decided it was time to test out if higher temperatures drive disease-carrying dog ticks to latch on to humans.

To see how much the temperature, in particular, mattered, Raoult and two colleagues turned themselves into human guinea pigs. They incubated 500 brown dog ticks at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 C) and 500 at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C). Then, they placed the ticks on their own arms.

Discovery News has more about what the experiment showed, and how rising temperatures could indeed pose a problem for humans when it comes to dodging ticks.