Seasonal Reminder: Ticks and Lyme Disease

Tips to help prevent getting this potentially debilitating disease.

It’s that time of year again. Ticks are already out and here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.

Some black-legged ticks can carry dangerous bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. The earliest sign that you’ve been infected is the bulls-eye rash.

BUT, if you’ve been bitten, act quickly before the rash even appears.

If you find a tick,  remove it safely. Here’s how:

(Removing a tick is the same for humans and animals)

  1. If the tick is attached to you, use fine-tipped tweezers or tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Do not use your fingers.
  2. Pull the tick straight out, gently but firmly making sure to remove the entire tick (including the head). Don’t squeeze it – avoid crushing the tick’s body.
  3. After removing the tick, place it in a secure container, such as a screw-top bottle used for medication.
  4. Give the tick to your health care professional or local health unit.
  5. Thoroughly clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.

Find more instructions HERE.

And, don’t forget PREVENTION! Cover up, use insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin, double-check yourself, put your clothes in the dryer after coming in doors and wash yourself.

Watch this video from the Government of Canada:

Image courtesy The California Department of Public Health and found on Flickr