Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act all cases of Lyme disease are required to be reported to Public Health; including clinically diagnosed cases. To report a case of Lyme disease to the Grey Bruce Health Unit, please call the Infectious Disease Program at 519-376-9420 ext. 6.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi. The bacteria can be transmitted (passed on) to a person through the bite of a blacklegged tick that is carrying the bacteria. Infection does not always occur with a tick bite. An infected tick usually needs to be attached for 24-36 hours; this is the amount of time needed for the bacteria to be transmitted through a bite. The Grey Bruce Health Unit follows-up with persons in Grey and Bruce counties that are diagnosed with Lyme disease.
The best way to protect against Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Health Canada provides some important ways you can protect yourself. See Health Canada’s Prevention of Lyme disease page for further information.
Ticks can be found anywhere on your body. If you find a tick attached to you, ensure that the tick is completely removed as soon as possible. Be careful not to crush or twist the tick during removal, this helps to ensure the entire tick is removed. See Health Canada’s Removing and Submitting Ticks for testing page for further information on tick removal.
Follow-up with your health care provider as soon as possible:
Submitting ticks for identification and testing is for surveillance purposes only. The testing of ticks is a lengthy process and is not intended to guide diagnosis.
After being bitten by an infected tick, it can take approximately three to 32 days to develop signs and symptoms of early localized Lyme disease (the early stages of Lyme disease). Early signs and symptoms may include a red rash, often called a “bull’s eye” rash (erythema migrans) at the site of the tick bite, fever, chills, fatigue, joint pain, neck stiffness and/or swollen lymph nodes. Early stages of Lyme disease may not always be obvious and people can present with later signs of Lyme disease. Diagnosis of Lyme disease is primarily based on clinical symptoms and risk factors as assessed by physicians.
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