Southwestern Public Health (successor to Elgin St. Thomas Public Health) announced Wednesday morning, June 6, , that a black legged deer tick collected from the Port Burwell area has tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.
Deer ticks thrive in tall grasses, woods and bushes, the health unit advised. Previously, ticks with the Lyme disease bacteria had been identified east of Elgin County, at Turkey Point and Long Point.
Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and an expanding red rash, which can sometimes look like a bulls-eye.
If left untreated, the disease can cause arthritic symptoms, cardiac issues, extreme fatigue and nervous system disorders.
The health unit advises using an insect repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET, wearing long sleeves and fully-closed boots or shoes when walking in tick environments, wearing light-coloured clothes to make ticks easier to spot, taking a shower after coming indoors and conducting “tick checks” on family members.
If a tick was found, the health unit recommended removing it with fine-tip tweezers and submitting it to Southwestern Public Health for identification.
Pet owners should follow up with veterinarians if ticks are found on dogs or cats.