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revised Wednesday June 17 2020

Lyme Disease | West Nile Virus | Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Lyme

DISEASE

Prevention

Avoid tick bites

Most of Peel is considered to be an estimated risk area for Lyme disease. It’s important to practice proper tick prevention where ticks are likely to be found like areas that are wooded, have leaf litter and long grass.

There are several steps you can take to prevent tick bites:

  • Cover up by wearing light coloured, long-sleeved shirts that fit tightly around the wrist and tuck long-legged pants into socks or shoes or boots.
  • Wearing light-coloured clothing makes it easier to see if ticks are attached to your clothing.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET to skin and clothing.
  • Check your clothing and body for any ticks, especially around the groin, armpits and hairline after spending time outdoors. Immediately remove any ticks found on yourself or a family member.
  • Shower or bathe within 2 hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks.

Tick bites: what to do if you’re bitten

The longer an infected tick is attached to your skin, the more likely you’ll become infected with Lyme disease.

Infected ticks don’t usually spread the bacterium during the first 24 hours. Since tick bites don’t hurt, you might not even know you’ve been bitten.

If you get bitten by a tick:

  • Remove the tick immediately with tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out until the tick releases its hold on your skin.
  • Use soap and water to clean the spot where you were bitten. You can also disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or use antibiotic ointment.
  • Wash your hands.
  • It isn’t unusual to have more than 1 tick attached, so check your whole body.
  • Contact your health care provider if you’re bitten by a blacklegged tick or if you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease.

Tick testing

Peel Public Health is currently not accepting tick submissions for identification

If you have a tick that you would like to be identified, refer to etick.ca, a free on-line tick identification service. Simply upload a photo of the tick and you will receive notification of the tick species and public health guidance within approximately 48 hours.

Tick submissions are for surveillance purposes only and not for diagnosis of whether you might have Lyme disease.

You should speak with your health care provider if you’re concerned about a tick bite or if you have symptoms of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease vaccine

While there is no vaccine for Lyme disease for people, there is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs. A veterinarian can advise you about vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease.

Lyme disease and pets

Pets can come in contact with ticks during walks in grassy or wooded areas. The best way to protect your pet is to avoid areas known to have an active tick population and to keep your dog on a leash in heavily wooded or natural areas.

Talk to your veterinarian for more tips to prevent ticks on your pets.

External Resources

Government of Canada
Public Health Ontario
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention


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Revised: Wednesday June 17 2020

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