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The range of inhabitance of ticks is very great. Greater by far is the danger that they pose for people who are not informed about the problems surrounding a tick bite and the diseases that a tick bite can cause. For the simple reason that more and more people in our immediate area have contracted Lyme disease or TBE and that these diseases can be prevented through proactive treatments, we have taken it upon ourselves to increase the awareness of our fellow citizens about this problem.
The decision to test the much used woods around our school for infected ticks was triggered by the fact that a fellow student had contracted the disease. Guided by an expert and dressed from head to toe in protective clothing, our team covered a large area of the woods with linen sheets. The 280 ticks that were caught were killed immediately in 70 proof alcohol and frozen. We recorded all of the areas on the map where infectious ticks were found. We also recorded the stage of development of the ticks found. For example, if it was found in larve or nymph form or as an adult tick. In our high-tech laboratory and with a safety level of 2 we analysed the through RT-PCR extracted DNA to find the pathogens. The result was: 2 ticks infected with lyme disease directly in front of the dorm!!!
The local kindergarten in Elixhausen was interested in our project. The children attending the kindergarten go into the woods once every week and this was good enough reason for the kindergarten to commission us to extend our study to their woods and find out if the problem poses a considerable threat in this area. This was our first assignment!!
On the evening of April 27th 2006 we hosted a manyfaceted event where we presented our results. Doctors and well-known experts offered presentations and discussions to inform the citizens of Elixhausen about prevention of and protection from the disease.
Last update: 17 July 2007
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