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Note to Editors

Monday, May 2, 2016 Lifestyle News J E 4
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OTTAWA, May 2, 2016 /CNW/ -

Note to Editors:

Dear colleagues,

Summer is just around the corner and so is tick season.

Lyme disease can be a serious illness which can be spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.  Make sure your readers know about Lyme disease and what steps they can take to prevent it and how they can spread awareness by visiting Canada.ca/LymeDisease.

On this website, readers can find:

  • Tips to prevent tick bites
  • A step-by-step process for removing ticks
  • Creative awareness resources like videos, toolkits, posters, pamphlets and more

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is committed to addressing the risks to Canadians posed by Lyme disease.

Of note, the Minister of Health is convening a conference to develop a Federal Framework on Lyme disease from May 15 – 17, 2016, in Ottawa.  The conference will be open to the general public and the media.

The attached article will inform your audiences about Lyme Disease and how to prevent it.

For additional information on Lyme disease and the upcoming conference and/or to speak to one of our experts on Lyme disease, please contact our Media Relations line at (613) 957-2983.

Article:

Top tips to prevent tick bites and Lyme disease

Are you gearing up for a long weekend at the cottage, a camping trip, or a hike in the woods this summer? Regardless of your outdoor plans, be sure to protect against tick bites and the possibility of being infected with Lyme disease.

Lyme disease can be a serious illness caused by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Their usual hangouts include tall grass and bushes in forests and the overgrown areas between the woods and open spaces. Confirmed and establishing blacklegged tick populations can be found in many southern areas of Canada.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can be different from person to person. You may not have any symptoms at all, while others suffer severe symptoms. Symptoms can include, for example, skin rash, spasms or weakness, numbness or tingling and muscle and joint pain. If left untreated, Lyme disease symptoms can last from months to years. In rare cases, Lyme disease can lead to death.

While not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, the best way to protect against illness is to prevent tick bites. Keep these top five facts and tips in mind:

  1. Ticks are tiny: The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are very small – some are about the size of a poppy seed. 
  2. Clothing: While it may be difficult to do when it's hot, cover exposed skin when outdoors. Wear closed-toe shoes and light-coloured clothing – this will help you spot ticks more easily. 
  3. Insect repellent: Use insect repellent containing DEET (active ingredient to keep bugs away) or Icaridin (always follow directions)
  4. Safe Zones: Avoid short cuts through thick brush and grass and walk in the middle of maintained trails to limit your exposure.
  5. Tick Check: Ticks love to attach around moist areas of the body, like in the belly button, armpits, behind knees, groin, between toes and in the hairline. Do a daily "full-body" check for ticks on yourself, children and pets.

These simple tips will help ensure you come from your summer adventures with great memories, not illness.

See your health provider right away if you develop symptoms of Lyme disease in the weeks after a tick bite. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chance of recovery.

For more information on Lyme disease, including how to remove ticks and how to spread awareness, visit Canada.ca/LymeDisease for resources like videos, toolkits and posters.

 

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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