Hey! Outdoor lovers and Hikers! Protect Yourself from Tick Bites This Summer 2023!
Hey there, folks! As the weather warms up, it's time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors in Ontario.
But hold on a tick!
The Ontario government wants to remind everyone about the importance of preventing tick bites and reducing the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
So, let's stay informed and take some simple precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe while having a blast outside.
Lyme disease is a potentially serious infection that occurs when an infected blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, sinks its teeth into you.
It can cause symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and even an expanding circular rash that looks like a bulls-eye. Now, ticks love to hang out in wooded areas, tall grasses, and bushes, and guess what? They can be found all over Ontario, including in city gardens and parks. Yikes!
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, urges us, "As we soak up the sunshine, let's also shield ourselves from Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Tick populations are growing every year, putting more people at risk. But fear not! By taking some simple steps, we can enjoy our time outdoors in our beautiful province while keeping these pesky critters at bay."
To prevent tick bites, here's what you can do:
- 1. Rock light-colored clothing: Tick spotting made easy! Wear light colors, so those tiny troublemakers are easier to see.
- 2. Cover up like a pro: Long-sleeved shirts, long pants tucked into your socks, and closed-toed shoes make it harder for ticks to latch onto you. Show them who's boss!
- 3. Fight back with repellents: Use insect repellents that contain DEET or icaridin. These mighty warriors keep ticks away.
- 4. Tick checks are a must: After being outside, inspect yourself, your little ones, and your furry friends for any unwanted hitchhikers. If you find a tick, remove it pronto!
- 5. Laundry hack: Toss your outdoor clothes into the dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes before washing them. This helps kill any lingering ticks.
Dr. Kieran Moore, our Chief Medical Officer of Health, emphasizes, "Lyme disease cases and other tick-borne illnesses are on the rise, just like in other places. But fear not! Simple precautionary measures can significantly reduce the risk of tick bites. Stay alert in wooded or grassy areas, including your own backyard, and always do routine tick checks after enjoying the great outdoors."
Now, here's the scoop on removing those pesky ticks. They're super small and hard to spot, but don't fret! If you find one on your skin, grab a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and get as close to the skin as possible. Then, gently pull upward with steady pressure. Once the tick is out, wash the area with soap and water, followed by disinfecting the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or some iodine on a swab.
If you have any health concerns after a tick bite, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider ASAP. Most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics, so don't hesitate to seek professional advice like MisterPharmacist!.
When it comes to antibiotic treatment for tick bites, it's important to consult a healthcare provider for a proper assessment and recommendation. In most cases, if the tick is promptly and correctly removed, the risk of developing an infection is low. However, if there are signs or symptoms of a tick-borne illness, such as Lyme disease, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
For Lyme disease specifically, the recommended antibiotic treatment depends on various factors, including the stage of the infection and the individual's overall health. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for Lyme disease are doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime. The duration of treatment can vary but is typically around two to three weeks for early-stage Lyme disease. For more advanced cases, a longer course of antibiotics may be necessary.
Here are a few quick facts to keep in mind: -
Infected blacklegged ticks can be found all over Ontario.
Shockingly, there have been over 3,000 cases of Lyme disease in our province since 2021. Let's not be part of that statistic! -
Untreated Lyme disease can make you feel tired and weak. In severe cases, it can even affect your heart, nerves, liver, and joints. In extremely severe cases, it can cause death too.
Ticks are most active in spring and summer, they can be found during any time of the year when the temperature is above freezing.