SUDBURY—One blacklegged tick that was found in the Sudbury region has tested positive for the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease, the Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU) reported late last week. This is the first positive tick reported in the health unit’s service area this year.
Rachel O’Donnell, public health inspector in the environmental health division of the health unit, explained, “it’s more common to see blacklegged ticks established in southern Ontario, in mixed deciduous forest areas around Lake Erie, for example. They are not generally found in Northern Ontario because we don’t have that type of forest. But no, it is not unusual to have them here.”
Dr. Ariella Zbar, Sudbury and District Associate Medical Officer of Health, reminds everyone of the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves and those in their care by: avoiding walking in tall grass and making sure yards are kept clear of debris and overgrown vegetation, grass, bushes and trees; keeping wood piles and bird feeders away from homes; wearing a long-sleeved, light-coloured shirt, pants and closed-toe shoes; using insect repellants that are federally regulated and contain DEET, and by following the manufacturer’s instructions for their safe use; checking your clothing, body and pets for ticks and changing your clothing upon returning home from the outdoors; and taking a shower to help wash off ticks that have not yet attached themselves to the skin.