The Tick App is a citizen science project to help researchers better understand and prevent human exposure to ticks.
My home state of Wisconsin is a hotbed for tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. The disease affects on average 3 thousand Wisconsinites per year. In 2017, there were more than 4,000 cases! Black-legged ticks, also referred to as deer ticks, can be found in every county in the state.
The bad news doesn't end there. Our climate is changing because the earth is warming. As a result, we'll start seeing ticks in new areas. And in areas where the disease already exists, fewer disease-carrying ticks will die off during winter. Essentially, the risk of contracting Lyme disease will increase.
But back to the Tick App. Although researchers know where ticks are, they don't always know how people get exposed to ticks. The Tick App was created to understand more about how people’s daily lives impact their exposure to ticks.