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Need help identifying a tick you found? There's an app for that

Wednesday, June 9th 2021, 7:52 am - A new app is hoping to spread awareness and prevent people from getting sick.

Up to forty different kinds of ticks can be found in Canada, and with a growing need for tick identification, a new project has been born.

It's called eTick — a research project funded by the public health agency of Canada that was designed in Canada to help Canadians out.

Jade Savage, a professor of biological sciences at Bishop's University, describes eTick as an "image-based identification platform" where Canadian residents can submit images and provide information about where a sighting occurred.

"Then a member of our team will receive a notification that tells them they have a tick to identify, and they will look at the image and identify the species," Savage says.

Each time a submission is logged, it is identified as a dot on a Canada-wide map, updated in real-time.

By helping provide a better understanding of tick species and awareness of which ones spread disease, eTick creators hope to help prevent illness and help experts keep better track of rising populations.

Public Health Ontario has said ticks that spread Lyme are increasing, rising from an average of 88 cases over a decade ago to the current average of more than 1,000 annual cases in the provinces.

So far, eTick has received more than 16,000 submissions with more than half of them discovered because they had landed directly on a human.

Download the app or find out more info on the eTick website.

Thumbnail image: Getty.

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