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Third blacklegged tick tests positive for Lyme disease bacteria

Public Health reminds public to be aware of risk when in the great outdoors
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Another blacklegged tick turned into Public Health Sudbury & Districts for testing has been found to be positive for a bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Public Health made the announcement in an Aug. 11 press release.

This is the third positive tick reported in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area this year.

With this third positive test, Public Health is reminding people of “the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves and those in their care” from Lyme disease. 

These include:

  • Avoid walking in tall grass and make sure yards are kept clear of debris and overgrown vegetation, grass, bushes, and trees;
  • Keep wood piles and bird feeders away from homes;
  • Wear a long-sleeved, light-coloured shirt, pants, and closed-toe shoes;
  • Use insect repellents that are federally regulated and contain DEET, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for their safe use;
  • Check your clothing, body, and pets for ticks and change your clothing upon returning home from the outdoors, and;
  • Take a shower to help wash off ticks that have not yet attached themselves to the skin.

If you do find a tick attached to you or someone else, remove it using fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin and gently pull straight up. Then, wash the area with soap and water. 

Public Health asks that you put the tick in a dry container and bring it to the health unit to be sent for testing.

You should follow up with a doctor to determine if you should be tested for Lyme disease, particularly if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours.

A tick bit often results in a distinctive, large, bull’s eye-shaped rash around the bit area. Symptoms can include fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain. Untreated Lyme disease can cause serious heart, joint and nervous system problems, but is easily treated with antibiotics.