Landscapers to Be Tested for Tularemia
Chris Burrell

His team of Harvard scientists collected 5,000 dog ticks and trapped 35 skunks and raccoons on the Vineyard this summer. Now, parasitologist Sam Telford wants something more to bring back to the lab in Boston - human blood.

Mr. Telford is on the hunt for clues to the mystery of tularemia, the rare and potentially fatal disease that has infected 23 people on the Island in the last three years, killing one man in 2000 who didn't seek medical treatment soon enough.

Nearly all of the victims were landscapers or people who make a living working outdoors.

Read More

Four New Tularemia Cases Suspected; Landscapers Remain Most Vulnerable

A rare bacterial infection called tularemia that killed a Chilmark man three years ago appears to have hit the Island for the fourth summer in a row, possibly infecting as many as four people since May.

State public health officials said yesterday that they are evaluating four probable cases of tularemia, all of them either landscapers or people who work outdoors.

Read More

New Tularemia Case Confirmed; Disease in Fifth Year on Island

For the fifth summer in a row, a rare and potentially fatal disease called tularemia continues to surface on the Vineyard.

State public health officials yesterday confirmed this year's first case of tularemia: a male landscaper from Edgartown who became ill in early June. Another landscaper from Edgartown is listed as a probable tularemia case, pending follow-up blood tests.

Both men are under 30 years of age and have undergone medical treatment for the disease, public health officials said.

Read More

Landscaper Contracts Tularemia in Case Considered Unusual
Chris Burrell
The Vineyard's first tularemia case of the year, a 50-year-old male landscaper, may have contracted the potentially fatal disease after handling a dead rabbit he found while working in Edgartown, state public health officials said this week.
Read More

Six Cases Confirmed of Tularemia Here
James Kinsella

Six cases of tularemia this spring and summer on Martha's Vineyard have been confirmed by the state Department of Public Health.

All six individuals who contracted the disease, who ranged in age from 33 to 67, either were landscaping or were outside near where landscaping was occurring. They contracted the potentially fatal disease by breathing in the Francisella tularemia bacterium between May 13 and July 5, health officials said.

All have been successfully treated with antibiotics for the disease, and are recovering.

Read More

Tularemia Cases Are Confirmed
Julia Rappaport

With six confirmed cases of tularemia and reports of Lyme disease coming in, the Vineyard has begun another season of documenting tick-borne illnesses.

Although cases are still being confirmed, official numbers will not be released until early next year. But initial reports from state public health officials and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital indicate no slowdown in the high rates of tick-borne illnesses on Island.

Read More

Lyme Disease Book Author Urges Vigilant Stance on Risks of Ticks
Sydney Bender

As a senior editor at Discover Magazine, science journalist Pamela Weintraub had covered myriad scientific dramas throughout her career. But it was her own family’s medical odyssey with Lyme disease — and the book she wrote about it, Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic — that brought her to speak on Monday to about 60 people on Martha’s Vineyard, where tick-borne illness is one of the most serious and prevalent health concerns.

Read More

Lyme Disease Initiative Seen as State Model
Katie Ruppel

Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that has been documented at epidemic levels on the Vineyard, is now the focus of a growing public health initiative that involves Island doctors, boards of health and university researchers.

The initiative, which aims to zero in on prevention, education, and improved data collection, is seen by at least one leading expert as a possible model for the rest of the state.

Read More