Health Unit Starting Active Tick Surveillance

Tuesday May 14th, 2019

Posted at 11:08am

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched its active tick surveillance program for the year.

This program involves the identification and testing of ticks that are collected by public health staff. The field surveillance is conducted at public parks and trails that are frequently used by community members to retrieve local data of tick populations.

Lyme disease is a serious disease that is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. These tiny little creatures can be found in wooded areas such as campgrounds, parks, trails and your backyard.

To reduce your risks of being bitten by a tick the Health Unit offers these tips:
•Avoid walking in tall grass and stay on the centre of paths.
•Cover up. Wear long- sleeved shirts and pants.
•Wear light coloured clothing to spot ticks easily.
•Tuck your pants into your socks and wear closed toed shoes.
•Do a full body check on yourself, children and pets after being outdoors.
•Shower within 2 hours of being outdoors.
•Put your clothes into a dryer on high heat (at least 60 minutes) to kill any possible ticks
•Put a tick collar on your pets.
•Keep grass in your yard short.

If you find a tick on your body, quickly remove the tick with a tick key or a pair of tweezers. Gently wash the bite and surrounding area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. You can bring the tick in a closed sealed container or a small plastic bag into the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for identification and testing.

The Health Unit accepts ticks that are found on humans at all three health unit locations. Ticks identification and testing is part of the WECHU’s passive tick surveillance program and you should speak to your physician to determine if treatment is required.

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