Watch Out for Ticks!
In 2020, nearly eighty people contracted Lyme disease in Montérégie.
This is a serious disease that, if not promptly treated, could lead to joint, heart or neurological problems. The bacteria that is responsible for Lyme disease is transmitted through a tick bite. These ticks are currently well established in the region. Although the risk of being bitten by an infected tick is highest between May and September, it is essential to remain vigilant from April to November.
Ticks are found primarily in forests, wooded and tall grass areas. Adults and children who engage in outdoor activities in or near these areas are more likely to be exposed to ticks. Hiking, biking, gardening, wood cutting and collecting, camping, fishing and hunting are examples of high-risk activities. Certain workers who perform outdoor tasks (road workers, summer camp counsellors, etc.) are also more likely to be exposed to ticks.
In order to take full advantage of outdoor activities in high-risk areas, simple precautionary measures are recommended to avoid tick bites:
- Wear long pants, closed footwear and socks, and apply a DEET or Icaridine based insect repellent, following the instructions on the product label.
- Shower as soon as you get home.
- Look for ticks on your body. Remove any ticks you find as quickly as possible. The risk of contracting Lyme disease is minimal if the tick is removed within less than 24 hours of exposure.
- Call Info-santé at 8-1-1 if you were bitten by a tick. A medical or a pharmacist assessment might be recommended in order to determine whether an antibiotic is required to prevent the development of Lyme disease.
- Seek medical attention promptly if you develop any symptoms (localized skin redness of 5 cm or more in diameter, fever, headache, tiredness) within 30 days of a tick bite. Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
- Prevent tick populations from settling around your house by regularly mowing your lawn, removing leaves and bushes and creating a mulch or gravel buffer zone between your yard and wooded areas around.
For more information, go to www.maladiedeLymeMonteregie.com.