The Porcupine Health Unit says a black-legged tick has been found in the area which contains the bacteria that could cause Lyme disease. It was removed from a resident in July. The PHU’s Medical Officer of Health, Lianne Catton, says our area remains a low risk for the disease.
Although the risk is low, the health unit says to take precautions to protect yourself from ticks that may carry the disease.
- Wear light-coloured clothing to make ticks easy to spot
- Because ticks tend to be found in wooded and long-grassed areas, wear closed-toe footwear and socks, long-sleeved tops, and remember to tuck your pants into your socks
- Use an insect repellent that has DEET or Icaridin on clothes and exposed skin (making sure to follow manufacturer’s directions according to age).
- Search your clothes and body for ticks. Don’t forget to check your children and pets.
If you do see a tick, use tweezers to remove it. The health unit says to gently grab the tick as close to the head as possible and pull it out slowly. Afterwards, thoroughly cleanse the bite site with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Ticks are more likely to transmit infection after being attached 12 to 24 hours.
Once the tick is removed, bring it to the health unit for testing.
(Written by: Taylor Ablett)