Lyme disease: better to prevent than treat
Even if the risks of contracting Lyme disease in the Outaouais remains slim, la Direction de la Santé publique is reminding residents that some simple preventative measures can make a big difference. In the last two years, there have been ten recorded cases of Lyme disease reported in the Outaouais, including some problematic cases acquired in this region.
Currently, available samples allow confirmation of the established presence of Ioxides Scapularis, commonly known as deer ticks, which are carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. These were only discovered in the southwestern region of the Outaouais. La Direction de Santé publique is continuing to monitor the area as well as reported cases of Lyme disease to better understand how the situation is evolving throughout the region.
Facts about Lyme disease:
• Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through a bite by an infected tick
• Ticks are found on vegetation, mainly in wooded areas and tall grasses
• Between the months of May and October, when engaging in outdoor activities, take the following precautions:
• Wear a hat, close-toed shoes and long clothing
• Tuck your shirt into your pants and pants into your socks or boots
• Use a bug repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, following application instructions
• When hiking, stay on trails and avoid tall grasses
• After an outdoor activity, examine your skin, tools, equipment and clothing carefully. Take advantage of bath time to examine children for ticks. If you discover a tick, remove it with tweezers and put in it a well-sealed container.
If you notice symptoms over the month following a bite, such as redness at the site of the bite, fever, headaches, fatigue and stiffness at the base of the neck, consult a physician and bring the tick with you
• For more information on how to remove a tick, consult the website santé.gouv.qc.ca