The Gray Bruce Health Unit says, ‘The likelihood of encountering a blacklegged tick in gray-bruises has increased over the years.
gray bruce health unit
Now that spring has arrived, ticks have become active. If bitten by a specific tick (blacklegged tick – deer tick), You may be at risk of getting Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria B. BurgdoferikWhich can be transmitted from a blacklegged tick to a person.
“The likelihood of encountering a blacklegged tick in a grey-Bruce has increased over the years. The number of Lyme disease cases in the province is also increasing,” says Andrew Barton, Gray Bruce Health Unit Program Manager.
“The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid bites. It’s also important to check for ticks because early removal greatly reduces your risk.”
The Gray Bruce Health Unit is advising people who want to identify ticks to use the free online platform Etik. A free mobile application is also available to facilitate submission.
The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is no longer offering tick testing after a tick bite. Tick identification through a provincial laboratory can take several weeks and is not used for diagnostic or treatment purposes; Rather it is intended for epidemiological surveillance.
Health Quality Ontario has developed a clinical guidance document for the management of tick bites.
Public health follows all individuals with Lyme disease, a reportable disease in Ontario. If caught early, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
Early symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and a bull’s-eye rash. If you experience any of these symptoms consult your doctor.
Ticks are most often found in forests, wooded areas, shrubs, tall grass and leaf piles.
Ontario Lyme Disease Map showing locations where black-legged ticks have been identified or where people are most likely to be exposed to infected ticks. It is important to remember that tick encounters are still possible in many areas of Grey-Bruce that provide ideal tick habitat.
To avoid tick bites:
- Wear light colored clothes;
- Tie your shirt on your pants and pants in your socks and wear closed-toed shoes;
- Use bug spray with DEET or Icaridin according to manufacturers’ directions.
- walk on clear paths;
- Consider using a sticky roll brush to remove ticks from clothing before entering your car;
- take a shower or bath immediately after being outside;
- Check your entire body, children, gear and pets for ticks;
- Placing your clothes in a hot dryer for several minutes kills ticks.
If a tick has been bitten, it is important to remove it immediately. Ticks that have been inoculated for less than 24 hours are unlikely to transfer Lyme disease-causing bacteria.
Use clean, fine-point tweezers to remove an attached tick, hold its head as close to the person’s skin as possible and slowly pull it straight out — slowly but firmly. It is important not to crush or damage the tick as this can cause Lyme bacteria to pass from the tick into your bloodstream.
If mouth parts remain in the skin, try removing them with tweezers. If they cannot be removed, leave them alone and allow the skin to heal.
The bite area should be washed with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
More information about protecting yourself from tick bites and preventing Lyme disease is available at the Gray Bruce Health Unit website.