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Friday July 17th, 2015

Posted at 10:07am

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A Windsor-Essex County resident has tested positive for Lyme disease.

The health unit says that this case marks the first clinically diagnosed human case for the region in 2015.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through the bite of a blacklegged deer tick. These ticks are a crawling, non-flying insect that feed on blood.

Dr. Gary Kirk, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, is reminding area residents to protect themselves and their family against ticks when going outdoors.

To reduce your risks of being bitten by a tick

  • Avoid walking in tall grass and stick to the centre of paths.
  • Shower after being outside.
  • Do a full body check after being outdoors.
  • Cover up. Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Tuck your pants into your shoes and wear closed toed shoes.
  • Use insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET on exposed skin.
  • Keep grass in your yard short.
  • Check pets after they come in from outdoors.

If bitten by a tick, individuals should:

  • Properly remove tick with a tick key or follow Public Health Agency of Canada’s directions for removal with tweezers.
  • Gently wash the bite and surrounding area. Use a disinfectant on the skin.
  • Do not dispose of the tick. Keep it in a container or a small plastic bag that can be sealed. Place a piece of damp paper towel in the container or bag.
  • Contact your physician.
  • Contact the Health Unit as the tick will need to be sent away for identification.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit accepts ticks that are found on human bodies, but do not accept ticks found on animals. Residents can visit one of their three office locations between Monday and Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

They ask that you bring the tick in a closed sealed container, along with their health card. If someone believes they are experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, we ask that they visit a physician’s office.

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