A day after the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit came forward to announce that there have been six confirmed human cases of the West Nile Virus in our area, they are now informing the public of their first human case of Lyme disease in 2018.
To date, the Health Unit says they have collected 72 deer ticks from areas in Haldimand and Norfolk through their active tick surveillance program with 24 of those ticks collected testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.
HNHU is warning the public to be mindful of ticks as adult deer ticks are most active in the spring and the fall.
They are typically found in outdoor areas with woods, shrubs, weeds, and tall grass.
The HNHU offers the following tips to avoid ticks:
· Stick to the middle of trails when walking through wooded areas.
· Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and pants.
· Pull your socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
· Wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks easier.
· Use bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin on your skin and clothing.
· Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks.
· Do daily “full body” checks for ticks on yourself, your children and your pet.
· Consult a vet about tick-preventative treatments for your pet(s).
· Remove leaf litter and other ideal living conditions for ticks around your home such as woodpiles and cluttered sheds.
· Place tables, swing sets and play equipment away from wooded areas, shrubs, and overgrowth.
The Health Unit is reminding the public that they no longer accept tick submissions.
If you do get bit by a tick, they encourage the public to bring the attached ticks to their appointment with their healthcare provider.