With summer upon us, the warmer weather means an increase in the number of ticks and tick-borne diseases including the most common, Lyme disease. Transmitted through a tick bite, Lyme disease causes symptoms such as rash, fever or chills, headache and muscle and joint aches. But if left untreated, it can lead to more serious issues such as paralysis and heart and neurological disorders.
A tick is a small, dark, spider like bug most commonly found in tall grasses and wooded and forested areas – places that draw many summer outdoor enthusiasts – where it patiently lies waiting for exposed skin to come along. In recent years, the number of cases of Lyme disease in Canada has been steadily growing with a reported 1,479 cases in 2017 – something the Public Health Agency of Canada calls a “significant national increase” of nearly 50 per cent over the previous year.
To protect yourself, here are some steps you can take to limit your exposure to ticks and tick-borne diseases:
These simple steps will help ensure your summer is tick free, though should you find one buried in your skin or know you’ve been bitten, experts suggest consulting a health care professional.
Media stories on this topic:
CBC Radio – Get ready for Lyme disease
CTV News Vancouver – The best ways to prevent and protect against ticks
Global News – Little girl temporarily paralyzed after tick bite
Global News – Toronto Public Health issues warning about ticks, Lyme disease
Global News – Tick forecast 2018: Experts predict more Lyme disease in Canada