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Tick Talk: Health Unit Wants You to be Lyme Disease Aware

July 28, 2014

Peterborough County-CIity Health Unit – The Peterborough County-City Health Unit has launched a summer promotional campaign to raise awareness about Lyme disease and how to prevent it.

Lyme disease is a potentially serious illness and growing health threat across Ontario.  It is the most common disease spread by ticks in Canada, caused by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. While not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of infected blacklegged ticks are spreading due to climate change. This means the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada.

“Locally we are closely monitoring for evidence of infected ticks in our area, so we encourage residents to check for ticks on their bodies and bring them to the Health Unit for identification,” explained Dylan Mahoney, Vector Borne Disease Prevention Program.  “Ticks can be as small as a sesame seed and their bites are usually painless, so it’s important to be on the lookout for ticks and the symptoms of Lyme disease.”

Mr. Mahoney explained that if you do locate a tick on your body, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull the tick straight out.  Save the tick in an empty screw-top bottle or zipper-closed bag and take it to the Peterborough County-City Health Unit located at 10 Hospital Drive.  The tick will then be sent away to the Ontario Public Health Laboratory for identification.