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 an infected blacklegged tick; a tiny, slow-moving bug about the size of a sesame seed. Ticks live in wooded areas and fields and attach themselves to a person or animal that 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.
To protect against tick bites:
- Be prepared – use bug spray with DEET and wear long sleeves and pants
- Check for ticks – look for ticks on you, your family and your pets after going outdoors
- Know the symptoms – rash, fever, aches
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.
Prompt removal of ticks helps prevent Lyme disease. When detected early, Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics.
The most common symptom is an expanding skin rash that can appear between 3 and 30 days after a tick bite. Anyone who develops symptoms after being bitten by a tick should see a health-care provider.
Blacklegged ticks have been found in areas of Lambton County. Pinery Provincial Park has a confirmed population of blacklegged ticks.
Only ticks found on humans will be accepted by Lambton Public Health for identification. For more information visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca, ontario.ca/lyme or call 519-383-8331 / toll free 1-800-667-1839.
Supervisor, Health Protection
County of Lambton
519-383-8331 ext. 3574