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.

Just Posted

Distinguishable stolen bike located in Chemainus

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP seeking the rightful owner

Decision on the mental fitness of Colin John expected on Friday

Suspect charged with second-degree murder in Chemainus three years ago

Celebration marks expanded Chemainus Valley Museum space

Dignitaries and public gather for cake, camaraderie

Play revolves around teenagers in thought-provoking dialogue

Chemainus Theatre’s I & You focuses on the development of an unlikely friendship

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read