This period in Canada the tick season is underway and Toronto Public Health officially made an announcement in order to remind the public to protect themselves from ticks. This announcement was made after an increase in reported cases of Lyme disease was registered in the area of Rouge Valley.
The city’s associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Christine Navarro, stated that this year were registered approximately 24 cases of Lyme disease, all reported to Toronto Public Health. The conclusion that was reached was that all cases were most likely acquired in the east end of the Rouge Valley area. However, during last year, only one case out of the total of 23 cases of Lyme disease was determined to be originating from a Rouge Valley tick.
Moreover, since 2012 the number of people who were infected with the tick’s bacteria fluctuated between 23 and 35, stated the Toronto Public Health agency. Last year, approximately 370 cases of Lyme disease were reported and that number became a concerning issue. To add further, the Toronto Public Health agency stated that the only type of tick that is capable of spreading the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is the black-legged tick or deer tick.
Preventing catching Lyme disease
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, confirmed that with the help of surveillance programs, the tick population is monitored in the city. There are signs in the areas where is known that ticks may be found and the public is also informed about the ways tick bites can be prevented. In order to avoid being infected with Lyme disease, the population is advised to avoid areas like bushy and wooded ones.
Toronto Public Health also recommends using insect repellent containing DEET or icadirin, covering up and wearing light clothing in order to spot ticks easier; inspecting the body(pets and children also) after a going outside is as well recommended.
Toronto Public Health is also informing the population about the symptoms of Lyme disease, which can include: a circular rash, stiff neck, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, headache, fever and chills.