There have been a few articles recently in the Hamilton Spectator discussing Lyme disease in the area. One of the articles discusses a small but interesting study done that collected ticks from the Dundas area over the last 2 years. The sample size was small – only 29 ticks were collected – but interestingly 12 of them (or 41%) were carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
The risk in our area may be higher than we think and it seems more recent surveillance data is necessary. Precautions to prevent ourselves from becoming exposed include covering exposed skin, using insect repellents, doing full body checks for ticks, showering within 2 hours of being outdoors and removing ticks within 24-36 hours (it takes ticks 48-72 hours to transmit Lyme disease). For our pets, using tick preventative products such as Advantix, Nexgard or Bravecto are a recommended for dogs who frequent wooded areas or areas with long grass. Symptoms of Lyme disease in people include fever, headache, body pain, fatigue and sometimes a rash at the site of the tick bite.
Here are a few recent articles from the Hamilton Spectator: