According to a story from Benzinga, Olivia Goodreau of Colorado is the 14 year old creator of the TickTracker app. The application was recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services, and Olivia is expected to continue working with the agency. The app allows users to track their areas where they find ticks along with much more, and could be helpful for monitoring tick borne infectious diseases such as Lyme disease. When she was younger, Olivia had her own unpleasant encounter with Lyme disease, sp she knows the misery that its symptoms can cause.
About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious illness which is caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia. The species responsible tends to vary from place to place. This bacteria is introduced to the human body via bites from the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), also known as the black legged tick. Lyme disease can progressively worsens over time without treatment, but symptoms include red, bullseye rash around the bite area, fever, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, facial paralysis, neck stiffness, and joint pain. It can difficult to track Lyme disease because blood tests may come back negative for the bacteria in the early stages. Some patients experience residual symptoms or problems long after treatment has concluded. Prompt treatment is essential with antibiotics being the standard. The number of cases of Lyme disease per year appears to be increasing in the US. To learn more about Lyme disease, click here.
The purpose of the TickTracker app is to report encounters with ticks, along with information such as location and time of year. This information then runs to a database. The app uses an innovative algorithm to synthesize data about ticks from a variety of sources into a more approachable format in the app. The app is intended for use by everyone and does not require expertise on the part of the user. TickTracker also helps educate users about tick bite prevention, different diseases that can result from a tick bite, and which tick species carry them. This is all done through a game-based and highly interactive interface.
TickTracker was first available in the US in February and became available worldwide in July. This app has serious potential to provide life-saving awareness to the user that can help them prevent Lyme disease transmitting tick bites by taking necessary precautions.