It’s al­ready tick sea­son

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY RICHARD MAHONEY News Staff

Wanted: Dead or alive. Ticks. While ev­ery­one wel­comes the re­turn of warmer weather, there is a neg­a­tive side-ef­fect to the ar­rival of spring -- lit­tle blood suck­ers have re­turned.

Since in­for­ma­tion is power, area ve­teri­nar­i­ans are join­ing the On­tario Vet­eri­nary Col­lege in col­lect­ing data on ticks and the in­ci­dence of Lyme dis­ease in Eastern On­tario.

Glen­garry An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal in Alexan­dria is among the clin­ics par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cana­dian Pet Tick Sur­vey. If a tick is found on a pet, the owner is asked to bring the par­a­site, dead or alive, to the an­i­mal hos­pi­tal. It will then be sent to the vet­eri­nary col­lege in Guelph for anal­y­sis.

Pet owners are also asked to com­plete an in­for­ma­tion sheet, de­tail­ing the specifics of the en­counter with the tick.

Cards

In an ef­fort to ward off the haz­ards posed by black­legged ticks, the Eastern On­tario Health Unit (EOHU) is launch­ing an aware­ness cam­paign.

The health unit is of­fer­ing free tick re­moval cards to local res­i­dents. The cards can make re­mov­ing ticks that are at­tached to the skin eas­ier, and can be car­ried in a pocket.

The EOHU is also cau­tion­ing res­i­dents that pop­u­la­tions of black­legged ticks, which can spread Lyme dis­ease to hu­mans, are grow­ing in lo­ca­tions across the five eastern coun­ties.

The coun­ties of Stor­mont-Dun­dasGlen­garry and Prescott-Rus­sell have been known risk ar­eas, where black­legged ticks have been iden­ti­fied and where in­di­vid­u­als have the po­ten­tial to come into contact with in­fected ticks. Visit www.eohu.ca/lyme to view On­tario’s risk area map.

The ticks may be car­ry­ing Lyme dis­ease, a se­ri­ous ill­ness.

The risk of Lyme dis­ease trans­mis­sion from a tick to a hu­man is very low if the tick is at­tached for less than 24 hours, how­ever that risk climbs if an in­fected tick is at­tached for more than a day.

“It’s im­por­tant to contact your health care

provider if you be­lieve a tick was at­tached for more than 24 hours or if you de­velop flu-like symptoms or an ex­pand­ing rash in the weeks fol­low­ing a tick bite,” warns Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health Dr. Paul Roume­li­o­tis. “If Lyme infection isn’t rec­og­nized and treated, symptoms can last from months to years and in­clude se­ri­ous health prob­lems af­fect­ing the heart, nervous sys­tem or joints.” Most cases of Lyme dis­ease can be treated suc­cess­fully with an­tibi­otics. Symptoms in­clude fever, headache, mus­cle aches and joint pains, stiff neck, de­creased ap­petite, fa­tigue, swollen glands and rash.

Ticks are most ac­tive in the spring and sum­mer months but can be found at any time of the year when the tem­per­a­ture is above freez­ing, usu­ally in wood­lands, tall grasses and bushes.

There are mea­sures you can take to dis­cour­age the pres­ence of ticks around your home and to keep ticks off you, your family and your pets. For more in­for­ma­tion on how to pro­tect your­self and your loved ones from ticks and Lyme dis­ease, visit www.eohu.ca/lyme

STEVEN WARBURTON PHOTO

REVVED UP: Pur­sue your dreams, mo­tocross cham­pion Mikael Savard told a group of pupils as­sem­bled at the Glen­garry Sports Palace Fri­day. The 17-year-old Grade 12 stu­dent from L’école sec­ondaire catholique L’Es­cale in Rock­land spoke to 1,300 Grades 5-12 stu­dents from area French Catholic schools at La Journée Unis. More cov­er­age in­side.

TRIB­UTE: ”He was loved by ev­ery­body,” Lois Ma­cLeod says of her late son, Robert. That fact was driven home when the 47-yearold Max ville man lost his se­cond bat­tle against cancer March 28. Among the many pay­ing re­spects to Mr. Ma­cLeod were his co­work­ers at Clarence McDon­ald Ex­ca­va­tion. Signs with the mes­sage “In Memory of Bobby Ma­cLeod” have been af­fixed to the com­pany’s equip­ment. “It is a nice ges­ture,” points out Mrs. Ma­cLeod.

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