Wearing long pants, socks and using bug spray containing deet are a few ways to protect against ticks. (Black Press files)

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the ticks are out.

Officials say the risk of Lyme disease on the Island is still relatively low but are reminding people to be aware of ticks when they are out and about.

According to Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer for Island Health, people should make checking for ticks on themselves, children and pets a regular occurrence after being outside.

READ ALSO: Citizen sightings needed for B.C. moose tick survey

Ecological conditions on Vancouver Island are the right climate for ticks and while the possibility the bacteria causing Lyme disease can also be found on those ticks she says the risk is low.

Hoyano says it’s best to take preventative measures to avoid having ticks on you in the first place, such as wearing long pants and socks, as well as using bug repellent that contains deet.

If you do find a tick on your body, she says the best way to remove it is with tweezers in order to remove the whole insect.

“The other important thing is you want to remove a tick as soon as possible after it’s attached to you,” she says. “We know the bacteria causing Lyme disease increases if that tick is on you for 24 hours or longer.”

READ ALSO: Victoria listed as endemic area for Lyme disease

Hoyano explains that Lyme disease can be treated very effectively with antibiotics but says the earlier the better. In 2017 Vancouver Island had three reported cases of the disease and in 2018 only one.

“One of the characteristics of Lyme disease is what’s called a bulls-eye rash,” she says. “It’s usually a circular red rash that spreads out from where the tick bite occurred.”

According to Hoyano, not everyone with Lyme disease will experience the bulls-eye rash so it’s good to be aware of the other symptoms including headaches or muscle and joint pain.

“That usually takes some time after the tick bites you so really if you have a tick on you today you’re not going to develop symptoms immediately and that’s why it’s important to remove the tick or try to avoid the tick in the first place.”

For more information on how to protect yourself from ticks visit healthlinkbc.ca.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Mary Lowther column: Pre-sprouting corn in paper towels

My new packet of spinach didn’t grow when I put the seeds directly into potting soil

Sarah Simpson Column: Diving into Dahl with my darlings

“Why don’t we pull out the Roald Dahl collection we got a couple years ago?”

Renovated Lake Cowichan town hall will include emergency operations centre

Upgrade project expected to be complete within months

Business notes: Realtors raise $10,000 for Nourish Cowichan

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read