URI researchers get federal grant

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and University of North Carolina have received a $2 million federal grant to study whether clothes treated with an insecticide are an effective way to fight Lyme disease.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island this week announced the four-year grant to URI’s Tom Mather and UNC’s Steven Meshnick. The money will come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The scientists will study the effectiveness of clothing impregnated with long-lasting permethrin. Permethrin is lethal for ticks.

The researchers want to learn whether using such clothing can safely reduce Lyme disease cases among people who work outdoors.

Reed says the grant is a smart investment. The incidence of tick-borne disease has doubled since 1991.

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