Health unit tests for Lyme disease in ticks in our region

Officials with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit scoured some bushy areas with a large white cloth in Adjala-Tosorontio and Tottenham looking for any sign of the black-legged tick.

“It’s an insect that can carry Lyme disease, so we want to be aware of what could be in Simcoe County and the district of Muskoka, so we know what risk is present,” Lori Holmes says.

The black-legged tick was once rare in Canada but has now become more prominent than ever.

Not all are infected with Lyme disease, but the Holmes says it’s important to monitor them.

Two samples were collected today that will be sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for further analysis. Results typically take at least a couple months.

Health officials suggest wearing light-coloured clothing with long sleeves, long pants, and using an insect repellent that contains DEET or incaridin to reduce the risk of a tick bite.

Ticks breed in and around woodland areas and bite more during the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler.

If you find a tick, use tweezers and remove it, place it in a container and contact your local health unit to have it examined.