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Here's what you need to know when the tick season arrives



Spring temperatures herald the start of the tick season in Nova Scotia.

The biggest concern is bites from ticks with black legs that can carry the bacteria that cause the Lyme an infectious disease.

The Department of Health considers the greatest risk of Lyme disease in mainland Nova Scotia high. This year she also added Cape Breton County, which includes the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, to this list.

Steve Sutherland, host of CBC's Cape Breton Information Morning spoke to Dr. ] Daniela Kempkens, the Medical Commissioner for Health in the Eastern Region of Nova Scotia.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Why has the Department of Health changed the risk status for CBRM from lower to higher

Nova Scotia has a very suitable climate for ticks populations. Black-legged ticks live best in areas that offer a very humid environment, and are often found in or near wooded areas, long grass, fallen leaves, and the like.

In 201

7, the entire province of Nova Scotia was declared a vulnerable area. Each year, the classification for each county is reviewed to determine if it is a lower, medium or high risk. This is based on data from people on Lyme disease cases as well as on ticks.

When the department reviewed the data for Cape Breton County this year, they had to take the decision that it had gone from low to high risk. However, it is important to stress that there is a risk of ticks and blackleg disease throughout the province.

What is the risk that ticks are black-legged?

We have several ticks in Nova Scotia and black-legged ticks are the only ones that carry the Lyme disease. If you're bitten by a tick, that does not mean that you get Lyme disease. It depends on the type of tick you have bitten, and then the tick must carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. And most importantly, it also depends on how long the checkmark has been appended.

The risk only increases if the tick is appended for 24 hours or more. Therefore, it is very important that you check yourself and your children for ticks when you are out in the wild and go back in to make sure you catch them early and remove them before they have been attached for more than 24 hours. [19659013] A female Lyme tick-cancer presented with a quarter on scale. (CBC)

Where to look?

You should examine your entire body. However, they like warm and moist spots, so you should first of all check your underarms, the area around your groin, your waist and behind your knees.

And what are you looking for?

When ticks have not been used for a long time or at what stage of their life cycle, they can be very small and not easily recognizable. You are looking for a small black dot that is attached somewhere and if you find that you would use tweezers, just normal ones that you have in your home. Use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, and gently pull the tick straight out of the skin. It is very important that you do not wobble, twist or squeeze.

When the tick is removed, clean the bite area with soap and water. They have different sizes, depending on their life cycle. It is therefore recommended that you shower for 2 hours after entering outdoors. This will help to wash away any ticks that have not yet attached themselves.

How do they approach you?

Ticks do not jump. They do not fly. They climb in bushes or long grass. They wait for a warm body like a pet or a human to pass by and then they can attach themselves to you. It is really the contact with the brush or the leaves that is necessary.

And the idea is that you do not want to squeeze the body out of it, because it pushes the stuff into you? [19659002] Right, you just want to hold the hook gently and pull it up slowly and straight to remove it. And then it is also important to dispose of it properly. You either want to flush it down in the toilet, rub it with alcohol, or even freeze it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in your normal household garbage.

This "bull's-eye rash" is a typical symptom of Lyme disease. (Novascotia.ca)

You should not keep it to identify it?

The general public is not asked to submit ticks.

I wonder if you can keep that Someone could say yes, that was a tick with black legs, you could be endangered

Even if it's a tick with black legs, know We do not know if this tick was infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. So if you had a tick bite, you should be aware of signs and symptoms that could develop in three to 30 days.

You would be looking for a rash. Sometimes it looks like a porthole, but also some nonspecific symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, tiredness, muscle and joint pains, and possibly swollen lymph nodes, and if you have these symptoms, make sure to take a look

And if you are Checkmark of yourself or one of your children, it would be wise to write down the date and place on your body so that you can give your doctor or surgeon an overview of how much time has passed since the tick.


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