Halton Identified as Risk Area for Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease
Residents are advised to take precautions against tick bites, as Halton Region has recently been identified as a risk area for ticks carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
As a result of active tick surveillance conducted by the Halton Region Health Department in 2018, Halton has been included in Public Health Ontario's updated estimated risk area map.
"Like many municipalities throughout Ontario, most of Halton is considered a risk area for ticks and Lyme disease,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region's Medical Officer of Health. “While the risk remains low, residents should be aware of areas where ticks may be present and how to protect themselves and their families from tick bites."
The report describes Lyme disease as a “bacterial infection spread by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, which are usually present in wooded, brushy or tall grass areas.”
Here’s what the region advises residents do to avoid tick bites while outdoors:
- If possible, avoid known tick areas (such as wooded, brushy or tall grass areas) and stay on trails when outdoors.
- Cover up by wearing long sleeved, light coloured shirts and pants with tightly woven fabric.
- Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks to keep ticks away from your bare skin.
- Wear shoes that cover your entire foot, avoiding sandals or open shoes.
- Spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin.
- Check your clothing and body for any ticks after spending time outdoors, especially around the groin, armpits and hairline. Carefully remove any ticks from yourself or a family member.
- Check your pets regularly for ticks as they could carry ticks inside your home.
To learn more about Lyme disease and how to avoid it, click here.
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