With a whole month ahead before students head back to school, there is still plenty of time to experience the great outdoors. However, everyone should be aware of how to protect themselves from lyme disease.
If not caught early, lyme disease – which is contracted through bites from infected blacklegged ticks – can lead to recurring arthritis, neurological problems, numbness, and paralysis.
“As a public health physician, I know that Lyme disease is a serious issue,” states, Dr. Eric Hoskins, the province’s minister of health and long-term care, in a news release.
The best ways to prevent tick bites are to wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants, pull your socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs, wear light-coloured clothing to spot ticks more easily, use insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin on clothing as well as on exposed skin, showering or bathing within two hours of being outdoors to remove ticks that can be on your skin but not yet attached, doing a daily full body check for ticks (young blacklegged ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, so look carefully), checking children and pets for ticks and placing outdoor clothing through the dryer cycle for 60 minutes on high heat before washing to kill any ticks that may be hard to see.
If you or a family member are experiencing serious symptoms and health effects, or have concerns about any symptoms, please contact your health care provider.