People anywhere in the province will be able to take photos of ticks found on people or animals and upload them to the online database, where researchers will identify the tick within 24 business hours. The eTick platform will also provide an interactive map, updated in real time, identifying the location of tick submissions.
“Our goal is to provide Saskatchewan residents with timely information about their ticks,” said Dr. Maarten Voordouw (PhD), who developed a Saskatchewan-focused tick surveillance web page, introducing the new program alongside Dr. Emily Jenkins (DVM, PhD). Voordouw and Jenkins, both faculty members at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), will continue to accept physical tick specimens for identification this year.
“The individual making the submission will receive a prompt message with information on the tick species, guidance on protocols to follow in the event of a tick bite, and associated health risk – if any,” said Priya Goundar, zoonotic/environment health consultant with the Government of Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is the first Prairie province to join the national network. In previous years, labs at USask and the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory received tick submissions from residents by mail.
By 2021, the Ministry of Health’s goal is to use eTick as the only platform for public tick submissions in Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
Communications and Media Relations Co-ordinator
University of Saskatchewan