Tick Season - Checking For Ticks
The tiny tick can pack a punch when it carries Lyme Disease. Not all ticks carry the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. But, if you get bite by a tick that is infected you need to know what to do.
Ticks In Alberta, Canada
Here in Alberta, there is a tick surveillance program through Alberta Health Services. This program helps to assess the Lyme disease risk to Albertans and their pets. If you find a tick on your pet, yourself, someone else, or anywhere outside, Alberta Health asks you to submit it for testing as part of a tick surveillance program. All black-legged ticks will be tested to see if they carry the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, that can cause Lyme disease.
Take a bath or shower as soon as you come inside, preferably within two hours. Use a handheld mirror to check your body from head to toe. Carefully inspect children after they've played outdoors, paying attention to the underarms, belly button, ears, hair, behind the knees and between the legs.
Checking For Ticks
Prevention is the first step.
Before you head out to enjoy the great outdoors there are a few things you can do to prevent being bit by a tick:
Wear light coloured clothing and cover up as much as possible, that includes pulling your socks up over your pants. (It's not a fashion show out there.)
Wear insect replant that has DEET. You can also check to see if it protects you from ticks.
Know where the ticks are. Ticks like to live in moist and humid environments.
After you come in from the great outdoors be sure to check and check again. Here are a few things to remember:
Check your skin for anything unusual. Some don't even remember being bit by a tick. But look for red marks or bites that form a bullseye mark. (Note: Not all bites react this way).
Check your clothes. Your clothes are a great way for the ticks to travel. You can use a sticky lint roller over your close to pick up any ticks. You may want to also tumble dry your clothes on high heat for 10 minutes to kill the ticks. Cold or medium temperatures won't be affective and won't kill the tick.
Check your pets. If your pet allows it, use the sticky tape lint roller. Plus brush through your pet. Animals are great carriers of ticks, the last thing you want is to get bit by a tick your loving pet brought in. Nor do you want your pet to bet bit.
Lyme Disease Association of Alberta - http://albertalyme.org/
Alberta Health Services - http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/lyme-disease.html
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks/
Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation - https://canlyme.com/
Interview Global Calgary
Susan McInnes from the Lyme Disease Association of Alberta and Chad Smith, who is living with Lyme Disease, join Leslie Horton with details on how to prevent Lyme disease.