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Tuesday September 13th, 2016

Posted at 3:52pm

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

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says the diagnosis marks the first clinically diagnosed human case for the area in 2016. 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.

Officials are 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.
  • Keep grass in your yard short.
  • Cover up. Wear long sleeves and pants. Tuck your pants into your shoes and wear closed toed shoes
  • Wear light coloured clothing to spot ticks more easily
  • Use insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET on exposed skin.
  • Shower after being outside.
  • Do a full body check after being outdoors. Ticks can be a small as a poppy seed.
  • Check pets and children after they come in from outdoors. Talk to your vet about keeping pets protected from ticks.
  • When doing a full body check for ticks, please pay close attention to areas such as scalp, ankles, armpits, groin, naval and behind ears and knees.

If bitten by a tick, you should:

  • Properly remove tick with a tick key or follow Public Health Agency of Canada’s┬ádirections 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 they do not accept ticks found on animals

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