July 2016 - Ticks and Lyme Disease

Top Tick Facts

The Best Offense is a Good Defence to Prevent Tick Bites


Tick Tock

If you are bitten, quick removal is very important. Removing the tick within 24‐36 hours of the bite usually prevents any infection. It is safe to remove ticks at home with the right technique, but don’t be afraid to see a doctor to have the tick removed if it’s in a place you can’t easily reach or see, you can’t see the mouth parts, you can’t get a good grip without squeezing the tick or if it doesn’t detach easily.

To safely remove a tick:


UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you attempt to freeze the tick, scrape it off of your skin, put any kind of substance on it or hold a match to it. These techniques do not work reliably and may increase your risk of being infected.

The Low‐Down on Lyme Disease

Not all ticks carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and transmission when bitten is not guaranteed. However, Lyme disease is a very serious illness, so it is worth practicing extreme caution when you are out in the bush in an area where infected ticks have been found. There is no vaccine or preventative measure available other than not being bitten. Symptoms to watch out for after a bite include but are not limited to:


If you experience any of these symptoms in the days or weeks after your tick bite, see your doctor as soon as possible and take the tick with you for analysis. Seeing the doctor early on and providing as much information as you can is critical, as early diagnosis and treatment helps to prevent serious complications of Lyme disease.

Information courtesy of Health Canada, HealthLink BC, WorkSafeBC and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Thanks to Arielle Roberts, BSc for creating this alert.

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