Although the risk is minimal, we would like to present to you the following general information and precautionary measures regarding Lyme disease. For more information please speak to your doctor.
How to avoid tick bites
- Cover up.
Wear long pants (tucked into socks) and sleeves.
- Stick to trails.
Avoid walking through low bushes and long grass.
- Lighter is better.
Light colored clothing makes it easier to see and remove ticks.
Use insect repellents on skin and clothing to ward off ticks.
- Check yourself.
Remember ticks are small and hard to spot. Take the time to examine yourself after you’ve been outdoors. Look for a moving spot the size and colour of a small freckle.
Ticks can remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth may be enough to remove any unattached ticks.
- Don’t assume you’re immune.
Even if you’ve had Lyme disease before, you can get it again.
- Remove a tick with tweezers.
Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, dispose of it and wash bite area with soap and water.
- Earlier is better.
It is easier to treat Lyme disease early. You should present yourself early for treatment if clinical signs appear.
- Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by a strain of bacteria that is transmitted by ticks.
- Ticks feed off the blood of humans and animals. They can be found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host.
- Ticks do not cause Lyme disease itself but rather transmit the infection by conveying bacteria to the animal whose blood they feed on.
- Ticks are common in New England and are becoming more so in Canada because they are being dispersed from endemic areas by migratory birds.
- Expanding skin rash at site of tick bite (even if a skin rash does not develop, other symptoms may occur)
- Rashes may develop at sites other than the original tick bite.
- Flu-like symptoms: headache, muscle soreness, fever, and malaise
- Migrating pain in muscles, joint, and tendons
- Even after several months, untreated patients may develop severe and chronic symptoms
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after being outdoors, tell your doctor so you can be tested and given the proper treatment. Early treatment ensures an effective and speedy recovery.