Ottawa Public Health reminds residents of tick risk

Ottawa Public Health said ticks can be small and difficult to see.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reminds citizens to be wary of ticks outdoors.

“If you’re in outdoor areas that are suitable for ticks, such as wooded areas or areas with tall grass, you need to be aware of your Lyme disease risk,” OPH said.

A 2019 University of Ottawa study found that a third of black-legged ticks in the Ottawa region were carriers of Lyme disease.

Caused by ticks that carry the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi, Lyme disease typically causes symptoms such as fatigue, fever, muscle aches and a red bulls-eye rash within three to 32 days of the bite.

In 2018, 90 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Ottawa, compared to just six cases in 2008.

OFH recommends applying an approved insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin, performing a tick check, checking pets daily for ticks, especially if they spend time in wooded or overgrown areas, and removing ticks as soon as possible.

“If you find a tick on your body, use fine-tipped tweezers, grab the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull slowly until the tick is removed,” OPH said. “Do not twist or turn the tick. Do not use a match, lotion, or anything else on the tick.”

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