Sudbury & Districts Public Health Reports Human Lyme Disease Case

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Sudbury –

Sudbury & Districts Public Health reports that an adult in Manitoulin District has tested positive for Lyme disease.

Although the risk of contracting the disease is low, testing positive is a reminder to take precautions when going out, the health unit said in a press release.

“People who enjoy the outdoors should check for ticks immediately after activities such as gardening or hiking,” Adam Ranger, head of public health environmental support, said in the statement.

“It’s one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from Lyme disease.”

Blacklegged ticks infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease have been found in the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin in recent years, but they are commonly found in rural areas along the northern shores of Lake Erie, from Lake Ontario, Lake Superior and the St. Lawrence River. Saint-Laurent, as well as in the Rainy River area in northwestern Ontario.

“Blacklegged ticks do not jump or fly,” the statement said. “They wait on grass and bushes for animals or humans to brush against vegetation. Ticks vary in size and color and can be difficult to see until they are full of blood.”

It’s best to avoid a tick bite in the first place. To prevent tick bites, Public Health recommends:

– Avoid walking in tall grass.

– Make sure that the yards are free of debris and invasive vegetation, grass, bushes and trees.

– Keep wood piles and bird feeders away from houses.

– Wear a light-colored long-sleeved shirt, pants and closed-toe shoes.

– Use insect repellents approved by Health Canada and follow the application recommendations on the packaging.

– Do a tick check.

– Take a shower after outdoor activities to help remove ticks that have not yet attached to the skin.

If you find a tick attached to a human, use fine tweezers to grab the tick near the skin and gently pull upward. Then wash the area with soap and water.

“Put the tick in a dry container and take it to your local public health unit to be sent for identification and testing for Lyme disease,” the health unit said.

“Check with your health care provider to determine if you need treatment, especially if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. “

If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious complications for the heart, joints, and nervous system.

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include a characteristic rash around the bite area that looks like a red bull’s eye. Fever, headache, muscle and joint pain are also common, as are fatigue, stiff neck, and swollen glands.

For more information on Lyme disease and ticks, call Sudbury & Districts Public Health at 705-522-9200, ext. 464, toll free 1-866-522-9200 or visit www.pssd.ca.

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