First positive tick on a human for Lyme disease in Windsor-Essex area
Black-legged or deer tick
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is warning the public after the first tick collected from a human this year has tested positive for Lyme disease.
The tick was sent to the health unit after it was found on a person who was in Point Pelee National Park in April.
It was sent to the Public Health Lab in London, where it was identified as a blacklegged tick. Further analysis at the National Microbiological Laboratory in Winnipeg confirmed that it was a carrier of Borrelia burgdorferi or Lyme disease.
The health unit is calling this a wake-up call for the residents of Windsor-Essex, saying residents should take appropriate precautions when venturing into wooded or grassy areas.
Dr. Allen Heimann, medical officer of health, gives the following tips on how to protect yourself from tick bites:
-Not walking in tall grass.
-Staying in centre of path when hiking.
-Changing clothes and showering when coming in from outside. Showering will help wash off ticks that have not yet attached to you.
-Doing a full-body check when coming in from outside.
-Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants that are light in colour. Pants should be tucked into your shoes or socks.
-Wearing closed-toed shoes.
-Checking pets after coming indoors.
-Using repellents that contain 20% or more DEET on exposed skin (read instruction label first).
-Using Permethrin-containing products should be used on clothing (read instruction label first).
-Making sure your yard is clear of debris, overgrown vegetation, the grass is cut short, and bushes and trees are trimmed.
-Keeping wood piles and bird feeders away from the house.
-Not letting your pets roam through the woods.
-Creating a three metre border of gravel, mulch, or wood chips around your lawn.