New Lyme dis­ease case con­firmed

The Delhi News-Record - - NEWS -

Test­ing sug­gests one-third of all deer ticks in the lo­cal area carry the bac­te­ria that causes Lyme dis­ease.

In a news re­lease, the HaldimandNor­folk Health Unit said it col­lected 72 deer ticks in Haldimand and Nor­folk dur­ing its sur­veil­lance pro­gram this sum­mer.

A to­tal of 24 of these tested pos­i­tive for the bac­terium that causes Lyme dis­ease.

The health unit also an­nounced this week it re­cently con­firmed one new case of Lyme dis­ease in the lo­cal area.

“Adult deer ticks, which are the known trans­mit­ters of Lyme dis­ease, are most ac­tive in the spring and fall,” Stephanie Pon­gracz, the health unit’s man­ager of health pro­tec­tion, said in the re­lease. “They are found in outdoor ar­eas with woods, shrubs, weeds, and tall grasses.

“This fall, health unit staff will re­turn to ar­eas where they pre­vi­ously found deer ticks in the spring. In ac­tive tick sur­veil­lance, if deer ticks are found in the same lo­ca­tion in the spring and fall, the area is con­firmed as a ‘risk area’ and mapped for pub­lic and health­care provider ref­er­ence. Ac­cu­racy is key be­cause this map­ping can be used when di­ag­nos­ing Lyme dis­ease.”

Lyme dis­ease de­vel­ops slowly and can be de­bil­i­tat­ing to the point of con­tribut­ing to an early death.

The first symp­tom tends to be a tell-tale “bulls-eye” rash in the area of a tick bite. Per­sis­tent flu­like symp­toms en­sue, in­clud­ing fever, joint pain, fa­tigue and headaches. Left un­treated, Lyme bac­te­ria will de­grade vi­tal or­gans such as the heart.

The health unit of­fers the fol­low­ing tips to avoid ticks:

• Stick to the mid­dle of trails when walk­ing through wooded ar­eas.

• Wear closed-toe shoes, longsleeved shirts and pants.

• Pull your socks over your pant legs to pre­vent ticks from crawl­ing up your legs.

• Wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks eas­ier.

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

• Shower or bathe within two hours of be­ing out­doors to wash away loose ticks.

• Do daily full-body checks for ticks on your­self, your chil­dren and your pets.

• Con­sult a vet about tick-pre­ven­ta­tive treat­ments for your pet(s).

• Re­move leaf lit­ter and other tick habi­tat from around your home. The lat­ter in­clude wood piles and clut­tered sheds.

• Place ta­bles, swing sets and play equip­ment away from wooded ar­eas, shrubs and over­growth

The health unit would also like to re­mind the pub­lic that it will no longer ac­cept tick sub­mis­sions for test­ing at any of their of­fices in Sim­coe, Cale­do­nia, Dun­nville, or Lang­ton.

The pub­lic is en­cour­aged to con­tinue to bring at­tached ticks to their ap­point­ment with their health-care provider.

For more in­for­ma­tion on ticks and Lyme dis­ease -- in­clud­ing per­sonal pro­tec­tion mea­sures, how to re­move and iden­tify a tick -- visit www. hnhu. org/ health­topic/ lyme-dis­ease .

For the Pub­lic Health On­tario map of risk ar­eas, please visit https://www. pub­lic healthon­tario. ca/ en/ eRe­pos­i­tory/ Lyme_ dis­ease_ risk_ ar­eas_ map. pdf

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