June 24, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
No matter where you live in Canada, Lyme disease is a serious issue. Regardless if your neighbourhood is urban, suburban, or rural, all present an equal chance of being infected.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called borrelia, which is commonly found in birds, rodents, and deer. The bacteria transfers to humans when ticks bite an infected animal, and then bite onto us. The most common areas people will receive tick bites is on the lower leg.
Canada is home to many types of ticks, but the most common ones that are known for carrying lyme disease are Ixodes Ticks, or “black-legged ticks” or “deer ticks”, which are brown or black hard-shelled bugs that are 1-5 mm long average, and then 20 mm when feeding. Adult ticks have eight legs while the baby tick has six.
Besides having multiple types of ticks, there are over a 100 signs and symptoms of Lyme’s disease making it harder for the disease to be identified. However, with many cases, common symptoms of Lyme’s disease include a “bulls-eye” rash, flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, headaches, neck stiffness, muscle aches and jaw pain; and red eyes.
While Lyme’s disease sounds scary, the worst cases often occur because ticks are left attached to the body or are improperly removed, resulting in further damage. Being aware and checking your body for ticks after being outside along with showering and rubbing a cloth over your skin will help to get rid of ticks before they bite and attach to your skin. If a tick does attach to your skin, there are multiple websites online that offer information on ticks and how to remove them.
This article has consulted with the information and advice found on the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation website, “CanLyme.com”, which can provide images and information on different ticks here in Canada, as well they provide a print-out list of the signs and symptoms of Lyme’s disease. Besides these types of ticks and symptoms, the website also discusses how to properly remove different types of ticks, including the previously mentioned Ixodes ticks.
According to CanLyme.com, there are a few ways one can safely remove ticks and prevent the increase chance of getting an infection after the tick is long gone. One way is to purchase a tick removal kit, and another is to visit a local health clinic to get treated by a doctor, but a couple cost-effective ways to remove ticks if you are not near a health clinic, include using a pair of tweezers or the floss and straw method.
The floss and straw method is angling the opening of a straw on the latched tick, and and tie a loop in floss and sliding it through the straw, looping it around the tick and tightening the knot. Once the knot is secure, you can tug the floss to safely remove the tick.
It is not recommended to burn tick off one’s body as a way to remove a tick, or to spread petroleum jelly or oils in hopes to “suffocate” the bug. As well, it is highly ineffective to try gripping the tick with your thumb and forefinger, trying to tug it out.
Whether you are prepared or not for a tick situation, one of the most important things to remember when removing a tick, is that you should grasp onto the mouth parts of the tick to remove it. Never hold the body of tick when removing one. It is possible that the mouth could come apart from the tick when being removed, and still transfer the disease, so always remember to grab at the mouth. Next, it is important that the site of the bite be washed with soap and water, and then apply antiseptic to the area after the tick is removed.
For more information and to view the website used in this article, check out the following links below;
Article prepared by Ariel Deutschmann