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Friday, July 26, 2019

Tick With Bacteria Causing Lyme Disease Found in Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores | by Matt Hermiz  

Grey Bruce Health Unit says there have been three confirmed cases of Lyme in humans in Grey Bruce this year, one contracted locally.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit says a tick collected in Saugeen Shores has tested positive for the bacteria which causes Lyme disease.

Health officials say there have been three confirmed cases of Lyme disease in humans in Grey and Bruce counties this year, one of which was locally acquired.

Public Health Manager Andrew Barton says there were two Lyme diseases cases in Grey Bruce last year, but none were contracted locally. In 2017, there were three total cases -- one was from a local tick bite.

"Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick," says the Grey Bruce Health Unit in a statement. "Ticks are most often found in forests, wooded areas, shrubs, tall grass and leaf piles."

The health unit says the risk of Lyme disease increases the longer a tick has been attached.

Health officials advise the best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick.

If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, the Grey Bruce Health Unit says you should immediately remove it with a pair of fine-tip tweezers.

If you have been bitten by a tick and are concerned about your health, you're advised to speak with a health care provider quickly. Health officials say early detection of Lyme disease is very imporant, as it can be treated effectively with antibiotics if caught early.

Symptoms may occur within three to 30 days after being bitten, including: a rash sometimes shaped like a bullseye, fever, chills, headache, fatigue and muscle pain.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the following tips when heading outside to areas where ticks can be found:

-Use bug spray with DEET or icaridine (always follow directions).
-Wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and pants.
-Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
-Walk on paths.
-Do a daily full body tick check on yourself, your children, your pets and your gear.
-Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors.
-Put your clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes.

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