I would like to take a moment to remind residents to be aware of ticks and to take harm-reducing measures to prevent the spread of Lyme Disease.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. In Ontario, Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a black-legged tick, commonly known as the deer tick. Most humans are infected through the bite of an immature tick called a nymph, which is very small and are most active in the spring. Adult ticks are larger and active during the late summer and fall.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has been advising Ottawa physicians and the public since April of 2017 that all parts of Ottawa should be considered risk areas for Lyme disease. The prevalence of Lyme disease in blacklegged ticks will fluctuate in time and geographically throughout the Ottawa region; however, as mentioned, all of Ottawa is considered a risk area for Lyme disease.
I would also like to remind residents that OPH has put together Lyme disease “kits”, which are available for pickup free of charge at my ward office in the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (GRC) for your information, use and distribution. Each “kit” includes a Lyme disease factsheet, which offers details related to the symptoms of Lyme Disease, tick removal processes, testing protocols and ways to prevent tick bites. The kits also include a tick key, which is designed to help remove any tick that may have attached themselves to a person, a family member, friend or pet.
I encourage all residents to pick up a tick-kit and be prepared for what to do in case you find a tick attached to you or your pets.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, please visit www.ottawa.ca/lymedisease. Should you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.