Huron County, ON – As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the Huron County Health Unit reminds residents to check for ticks after being outdoors in grassy areas.
Lyme disease can be a serious illness. It’s spread to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. As of 2014, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease has been found in blacklegged ticks throughout Ontario, including Huron County.
“In our 2014 tick survey, 170 ticks were collected,” says Keshia Hackett, Public Health Inspector. “Of those collected, 69 were blacklegged ticks and three tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.”
To prevent tick bites:
- Wear light-coloured clothing. It makes ticks easier to spot.
- Wear closed footwear and socks, a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your pants into your socks.
- Use a tick repellent that has been approved by Health Canada, following the manufacturer’s directions.
- Search your body for ticks at least once a day if you have been in an area where you might get bitten by ticks. Pay special attention to the scalp, groin and armpits.
If you find a tick on your body, remove it with tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly. Save the tick in a jar or screw-top bottle if you can and take it to your doctor or your local health unit, where it will be submitted for identification and testing if warranted.
If you have been in an area known to contain blacklegged ticks or have been bitten by a tick, watch for the following symptoms:
- Muscle and joint pains
- Skin rash that may resemble a bull’s eye
If you have any of these symptoms, let your healthcare provider know immediately.
Lyme disease is not transmitted from person to person. However, dogs and cats can carry the ticks into your home or yard, potentially placing people at risk of infection. Take precautions such as putting tick and flea collars on your pets and checking them for ticks periodically.
For more information contact:
Our media contact is: Rita Marshall, Communications Coordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 or toll-free 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2023 or email@example.com
Our spokesperson is: Keshia Hackett, Public Health Inspector. Our media contact will connect you to our spokesperson on this topic.