Lyme Disease Bud Ivey CPHI(C) March 20 2014 Lyme Disease • First identified in 1975 in a group of arthritis patients in Lyme, Connecticut • 1978 it was found to be tick related • 1981 Borrelia burgdorferi was identified as the main cause of Lyme disease Where is it Found? Where is it Found? • Lyme disease is the most common tick related illness in the Northern Hemisphere • Ticks able to carry Lyme disease are spreading into Canada at a rate of 46 km/year, caused by global warming • Within HKPR we have a known hot spot located at Presqu’ile Provincial Park in Brighton Presqu’ile & Sandbanks Provincial Parks Who is at risk of infection? • Anyone can get bitten by a tick • Often people frequenting wooded and rural areas • Common for hikers, hunters, birders, dog walkers etc. How can I get Lyme disease? • Caused by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick • Most commonly found in fields and forested areas • Ticks like to attach to the body in warm protected areas ie: groin, armpits, scalp What do ticks look like? What does HKPR do with ticks? When a tick is brought into HKPR: • PHIs take the tick and victim info to send for testing • Ticks sent to Peterborough Public Health lab to determine type (1-2 weeks avg.) • If specimen is a deer tick the lab sends the tick to Winnipeg for Lyme testing (additional 2-6 weeks) Managing • Deer ticks acquire Lyme disease pathogens from rodents, not from deer However • Controlling the deer population also controls the deer tick population as they need the deer for reproductive success Preventing Exposure • Light colored clothing (easier to spot ticks) • Wear long pants and sleeves • Wear closed toed footwear • Tuck your pants into socks • Use insect repellant with DEET • Put a tick and flea collar on your pet • Thorough check of your body after being in tick habitat What do I do if I get bit? • Prompt removal, usually requires >24 hours to transmit • Using tweezers gently grab tick close to skin and pull straight out • Do not squeeze the tick as it can cause release of Lyme disease agent What do I do if I get bit? • Place the tick in a container and see your doctor • Bring the tick to either your doctor or health unit • Cleanse bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water How do I know if there is a problem? 1st Stage Fever, chills, joint pain, headache, fatigue Bull’s eye rash called Erythema Chronicum Migrans may appear 3 to 30 days after bite Public Health Agency of Canada How do I know if there is a problem? 2nd Stage Nervous system damage Central – meningitis Peripheral – facial nerve paralysis Can last up to several months How do I know if there is a problem? 3rd Stage Lasts months to years if untreated causing arthritis and neurological symptoms Lyme Disease and Pets • Pets are also a great mode of transmission for ticks • Ticks can grab on fur while in long grass, dense bush • Ticks can fall from trees on to animals Lyme Disease and Pets • Animals bring the ticks home • Always check animals for ticks when returning from tick infested areas Questions?