October 21, 2016
Be Tick Smart During the Hunting Season
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to remind those enjoying hunting activities to be aware that they are sharing the great outdoors with ticks that can cause Lyme disease in people.
People become sick when they have been bitten by a black-legged tick that is infected with bacteria that causes Lyme disease (black-legged ticks are also known as deer ticks). A tick carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease must be attached to you for at least 24–36 hours in order for the tick to transmit Lyme disease. A tick that is attached for less than 24 hours, even if it did carry the bacteria, could not transmit Lyme disease because it was not attached long enough. If a tick is attached for longer than 24 hours then it is important to contact your health care provider.
What can you do to minimize your exposure to ticks?
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants. For extra protection, tuck your pants into your socks. Use bug repellent containing DEET. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the repellent on yourself or children.
- When you return from the outdoors, check your entire body thoroughly for ticks including your scalp. Ask someone to checks parts of your body that you are not able to see on your own.
- Take a shower when coming indoors to help remove loose ticks that may be on your body.
- Run your clothes through a cycle in your dryer to kill any loose ticks that may be in your clothes.
- If you find an attached tick, remove it promptly using a pair of tweezers or a tick remover. Grasp the tick’s head and mouth parts as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out gently, but firmly. Avoid twisting or squeezing the tick during removal. Removing the tick from your body within 24 hours of the tick attaching will prevent you from getting Lyme disease. If a tick has been attached for more than 24 hours contact your health care provider.
For further information on Lyme Disease, please contact the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 or visit our Insect Bites and Diseases section. You can also connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @LGLHealthUnit for important public health updates.
Joan Mays, Manager Community Health Protection, 613-345-5685 or 1-800-660-5853
or Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator 613-802-0550