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Health unit offers tips to avoid ticks

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit are reminding the public as day time temperature goes above four degrees celcius, ticks become active.

The health unit says if you are bitten by a tick you could risk getting Lyme disease.

Precautions to keep in mind to reduce the risk include:

Light coloured clothing makes ticks easier to see on you as they are darker in colour. Always remember to do a tick check when you go inside. Thoroughly check your body for ticks and nymphs and immediately remove and dispose them. Have someone check you from behind if possible. A quick shower can help remove any unattached ticks. Putting your clothes in a hot dryer for several minutes has been found to kill ticks.

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The health unit says not all ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. They say ticks that are removed quickly and have been attached for less than 24 hours are not likely to transfer the bacteria. If a tick has been attached for longer than 24 hours you may have an increased risk and should consult your health care provider. If you find a tick on your body, check to see if it’s flat or fat. A fat tick is a sign that it has been feeding for a longer period of time.

The health unit also says Lyme disease symptoms range from a bulls eye rash around the bite area, headache, fever and muscle/joint pain. Symptoms can appear from three days to several weeks following a tick bite. Talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms.

For more information about ticks and Lyme disease email contact@heathunit.org.

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