(Regional)– One of Ontario’s top public health officials has some advice on how to avoid getting lyme disease.
Interim Chief Medical Health Officer, Doctor David Williams, says it is caused by tiny blacklegged ticks.
He says if you’ve been in wooded areas, or even just walking in long grass, you should check yourself carefully for these tiny bugs.
Doctor Williams says if a tick is attached to your body — it will look like a small dot or freckle — take some tweezers and try to pull it straight out.
He suggests you put the tick in a jar and take it to the health unit to be tested.
Doctor Williams says the tick has to be attached for more than 24 hours before it passes the disease on to you, so early detection is important.
Lyme disease can cause muscle aches and pains, weakness and fatigue.
But Doctor Williams says most cases can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
Doctor Williams adds it’s a good idea to find out if there are problem areas for lyme disease where you live — by checking with the health unit.
He also says you can reduce your exposure by wearing long pants and sleeves, tucking your pant legs into your socks, and using insect repellent like DEET.