CAUTION: Tick Season is Here
Ottawa and neighboring regions are considered "at risk" for Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by black-legged ticks found in wooded areas, tall grasses, fields, shrubs and leaf litter.
In a recent surveillance study, almost 30% of ticks tested in the Ottawa area were found to be infected the bacterium that transmits the disease. Recreational trails, conservation areas, forests and the provincial parks within the urban area had significantly higher tick densities than lawn-covered municipal parks which are mowed. All wooded, bushy, or tall-grassed areas in Ottawa should be considered at risk.
Common early symptoms of Lyme disease include a bulls-eye rash, fever, chills, muscle and joint aches. If left untreated, more severe and long-lasting symptoms can result. By early May, the Montfort Hospital had already seen three cases of tick bites requiring treatment.
Prevention is key. If in woodlands or fields, stay on established trails. Wear light-coloured clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and trousers tucked into socks. Do a full body tick check of yourself, your children and your pets after every outing. Remove ticks carefully with fine-pointed tweezers or a tick-key.
For more information about Lyme disease and its prevention, see:
- Tick Safety in the Capital
- OttawaPublicHealth.ca , or
- CLICK HERE for a PDF produced by Ottawa Public Health and The Ottawa Hospital