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How to protect yourself from ticks as temperatures start to rise in Ottawa

While being active and enjoying the outdoors have many health benefits, Ottawa Public Health reminds the public of the risks associated with areas suitable for ticks.

The public health agency says on its website people should be aware of the risk of Lyme disease in wooded areas or in areas with tall grass.

“Preventing tick bites is key to the prevention of Lyme disease,” reads OPH’s website.

Meanwhile, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands says ticks become active when temperatures rise to above 4 C. It notes that the transmission of Lyme disease from a tick to a human depends on the length of time the infected tick is attached.

“For Lyme disease and Babesiosis, a tick needs to be attached for 24 hours or longer to pass on the illness, while 12 hours is required for Anaplasmosis. If the tick has been attached for longer than 24 hours you may be at an increased risk and it is recommended that you consult your health care provider, or for Lyme disease, you can also consult with a pharmacist who maybe able to provide preventative medication in some circumstances,” said Leeds Thousand Islands in a news release on Wednesday.

Here’s how to project yourself:

• Apply an approved insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin.

• Do a tick check on yourself, your children and your pets.

• Check your pet daily for ticks, especially if it spends time in wooded or overgrown areas.

• Remove ticks as soon as possible. If you find a tick on your body, use fine-pointed tweezers, grasp the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly until the tick is removed. Do not twist or rotate the tick. Do not use a match, lotion or anything else on the tick.

“Lyme disease is an important health concern in many parts of Canada and is spread by the bite of blacklegged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Most people are infected with Lyme disease through the bite of an immature tick called a nymph,” reads OPH’s website.




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