Lyme Disease warning from Public Health Sudbury & Districts

As the snow melts and the warm weather returns, so does the risk of contact with a blacklegged tick. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding you to protect yourself and your family against tick bites.

Although the risk of contracting Lyme disease remains low, people need to protect themselves when enjoying the outdoors. Blacklegged ticks infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease have been found in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts in past years, however, they are commonly found in rural areas along the north shores of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior, and the St. Lawrence River, as well as in the Rainy River area of northwestern Ontario.

People enjoying the outdoors need to check for ticks immediately after activities like gardening or hiking. This is one of the simplest ways you can protect yourself from Lyme disease,” said Adam Ranger, an environmental support officer with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Blacklegged ticks do not jump or fly. They wait on grass and bushes for animals or humans to brush against the vegetation. Ticks vary in size and colour and can be hard to see until they are full of blood.

Avoiding a tick bite in the first place is best. To prevent tick bites:

§  Avoid walking in tall grass.

§  Make sure yards are kept clear of debris and overgrown vegetation, grass, bushes, and trees.

§  Keep wood piles and bird feeders away from homes.

§  Wear a long-sleeved, light-coloured shirt, pants, and closed-toe shoes.

§  Use insect repellents that are approved by Health Canada and follow the application recommendations on the package.

§  Do a tick check.

§  Take a shower after outdoor activities to help wash off ticks that have not yet attached themselves to the skin.

If you find a tick attached to a human:

§  Use fine-tipped tweezers to grab the tick close to the skin and gently pull straight up.

§  Wash the area with soap and water.

§  Put the tick in a dry container and bring it to your local public health unit to be sent for identification and testing for Lyme disease.

§  Follow up with your health care provider to determine if you need treatment, especially if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious complications to the heart, joints, and nervous system.

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may include:

§  A characteristic rash around the area of the bite that looks like a red bull’s eye.

§  Fever, headache, muscle and joint pain.

§  Fatigue, stiff neck, and swollen glands.

For more information on Lyme disease and ticks, call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit www.phsd.ca.

Filed in: Briefs, Education

You might like:

Heat Warnings issued for Friday July 19 Heat Warnings issued for Friday July 19
New chief of ambulance EMS services in Sault District New chief of ambulance EMS services in Sault District
Health Canada regulations will require hospitals to report serious adverse reactions to drugs and devices Health Canada regulations will require hospitals to report serious adverse reactions to drugs and devices
Nipissing nursing grad liked smaller class sizes Nipissing nursing grad liked smaller class sizes

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment
© 2019 Northern Ontario Business. All rights reserved.
Read previous post:
Ontario spending more on mental health and addicitons

Ontario's mental health care system is disconnected, making it difficult for patients and families to get the care and services...

Close