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Thursday, June 07, 2018

Reminder to Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

Based on public tick submissions, we now know a significant number of ticks in Hastings County south of Highway 7 are infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.  This has been the case in Prince Edward County since 2015.

As a result, effective June 11, 2018 Public Health will no longer accept ticks from south of Highway 7.

Our updated focus will be to:
  • Continue accepting public tick submissions for ticks found north of Highway 7.

  • Have our staff actively sample for ticks in targeted areas north of Highway 7.

  • Contact operators of summer camps to ensure they have the appropriate information to address Lyme disease.

  • Work with our neighbouring health units.

  • Keep the public and stakeholders informed on Lyme disease.

These activities are part of ongoing efforts to help prevent Lyme disease in our residents and visitors.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care says, “Lyme disease is a public health concern that exists not only in Ontario but also across North America, Europe and Asia. Lyme disease threatens the health of Ontario residents.” Last year there were 987 reported cases in Ontario.

Protect yourself from Lyme disease by doing the following:
  • Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants to spot ticks more easily

  • Tuck your shirt into your pants, and pull your socks over your pant legs

  • Use bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin on your skin and clothing

  • Walk on cleared paths and walkways

  • Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors

  • Do a daily full-body check for ticks for yourself and your family

  • If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers immediately. Removing it within 24-36 hours can help prevent infection

  • Do a tick check on your outdoor gear and your pets as they could carry ticks inside your home

  • Put dry outdoor clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks
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