Health officials issue Lyme disease advisory

A blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, which are known to carry Lyme disease. James Gathany, Centres for Disease Control Photo

Journal Staff

A 20-kilometre area around Pinery Provincial Park has been declared a “high-risk area” for Lyme disease.

The designation follows an increase in the blacklegged tick population and the number of ticks testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Lambton Public Health said.

Anyone bitten by an identified blacklegged tick that’s been attached and feeding for more than 24 hours should contact their health-care provider, the health unit said.

Lyme disease causes rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. If not treated quickly the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system.

Though the probability is greater in high-risk zones, it is possible to find infected ticks almost anywhere there is tall grass and wooded and brushy areas.

The health unit recommends using an insect repellent with DEET or icaridin and sticking to marked trails.