LPH reports an increased risk of Lyme disease in Pennery

Those heading to Pinery Provincial Park have been warned of the increased chance of developing Lyme disease.

Lambton Public Health said the Pinery plant and the area around 20 kilometers, including Port Franks, are at significant risk due to an increased number of black ticks and the number of ticks that have tested positive.

Health Protection Supervisor Jessica Zinal said precautions should always be taken before and during hiking, including using insect repellent containing DEET for adults.

“You definitely want to try to stick to the paths and avoid direct contact with plant growth, if possible,” said Zahnal. “You want to wear light-coloured clothing, this makes it easier to spot ticks you might have. You should wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, socks, closed-toe shoes, and a hat. You’ll want to put your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.”

Zinal said it’s also important to have a daily tick check for early detection, in areas including the scalp, groin and armpits.

She said if you have been bitten by a black tick in the Pinery Park area, and have been delivered and fed for more than 24 hours, it is recommended that you consult your health care provider.

You are less likely to get Lyme disease if the tick is removed quickly.

The most common symptom is an expanding rash that can appear three to 30 days after the bite. You may also experience muscle and joint pain, headache, fever and fatigue.

Not all blackheaded ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, and not everyone who has been bitten by an infected tick shows signs and symptoms.

You can submit a photo of the tick for identification by visiting www.lambtonpublichealth.ca.

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