Date: May 29, 2017

A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon with 60 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 21. UV index 8 or very high.

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News Releases Archive

News Releases

Take Precautions to Avoid Tick Bites

This page was reviewed or revised on Friday, April 21, 2017 1:29 PM

Point Edward, ON -  Lambton Public Health reminds area residents to protect themselves and their families against ticks, and Lyme disease, when outdoors.

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, a tiny, slow-moving bug about the size of a sesame seed. Ticks live in wooded areas and fields and attach when a person or animal brushes against plants, bushes or tall grass. Once attached, ticks feed on blood; most people never feel the bite.

"Not all blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria," said Lori Lucas, Supervisor with Lambton Public Health. "Even if the tick is positive, the risk of getting Lyme disease is low."

The American dog tick is the most common tick in Lambton and is not an efficient transmitter of Lyme disease. Dog ticks are larger in size, about the size of a pencil eraser.

Protect against tick bites

  • Be aware of tick habitat – tall grass, bushes and wooded areas. Stick to trails and avoid direct contact with plant growth.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt, socks, closed-toed shoes and a hat. Tuck shirt in pants, and pants in socks. Light colours make ticks easier to spot.
  • Apply an insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or skin. Follow label instructions.
  • Use a tick / flea collar for pets; check pets periodically. Pets can bring ticks inside.
  • After an outing do a "tick check" on yourself, your family and pets. Pay extra attention to scalp, groin and armpits.

If you find a tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out using steady pressure. DO NOT twist, squeeze or burn the tick.

Pinery Provincial Park has a confirmed population of blacklegged ticks. Take precautions when visiting in and around the park. Blacklegged ticks have been found in other areas of Lambton.

Prompt detection and removal of ticks helps prevent Lyme disease. Symptoms usually occur within 1-2 weeks, but can occur as soon as three days, or as long as a month after a tick bite. Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pains
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • red bull's eye skin rash

Long-term health risks include joint, heart and nerve complications.

Detected early, Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics. Lyme disease is not known to spread person-to-person. Anyone who develops these symptoms after being bitten by a tick should see their health-care provider.

Only ticks found on humans can be submitted to Lambton Public Health (LPH) for identification. To date, only two ticks submitted to LPH tested positive for Lyme disease bacterium.

For more information about ticks or Lyme disease visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca or call 519-383-8331, toll-free 1-800-667-1839.

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Please contact:

Lori Lucas
Supervisor, Health Protection
County of Lambton
519-383-8331 ext. 3574
lori.lucas@county-lambton.on.ca