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News Release For Immediate Release
July 10, 2012
Tick Talk (subs previous)
There have been no locally acquired cases of Lyme disease in Grey Bruce, but the potential exists.
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged tick. Ticks settle on tall grasses and bushes and attach themselves to a passing person or animal. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and a skin rash, especially one that looks like a red bull's eye (although not always). Symptoms usually occur within one to two weeks, but can occur as soon as three days or as long as a month after a tick bite.
White tailed deer are a potential reservoir of Lyme disease as they carry ticks. Since Grey Bruce has a large deer population, tick surveillance is warranted. The Grey Bruce Health Unit conducts drag sampling in areas where ticks are known to inhabit and where human interaction is likely. Drag sampling consists of dragging a flannel cloth over and around vegetation to catch as many ticks as possible for species identification and testing. Dragging has been conducted in various areas throughout Grey Bruce since 2007. No infected ticks have been found through sampling in Grey Bruce.
If you locate a tick on your body, use tweezers to remove it. Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly and clean the area with soap and water or alcohol. Save the tick in a jar or screw top bottle and take it to your doctor or Public Health for testing. Prompt removal of ticks from your skin will help prevent infection, since transmission of the Lyme disease causing bacteria usually requires the tick to be attached to your body for more than 24 hours.
Lyme disease does not pass from person-to-person. Dogs and cats can carry ticks into your home or yard increasing exposure of people to ticks. Dogs are also susceptible to Lyme disease although you cannot catch the disease from your pet. Take precautions by using a veterinary approved tick control product. Speak to your veterinarian about how to test ticks found on your pet.
There are several key ways to prevent tick bites:
To learn more about Lyme disease, talk to your family doctor, healthcare provider, or Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456, or visit www.ontario.ca/lyme.
For more information:
Manager, Vector-Borne Diseases Program
Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1252
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health