What To Expect At The Emergency Room
The symptoms will be treated. Long-term treatment may be needed if complications develop. Preventive antibiotics are often given to people who live in areas where Lyme disease is common.
The person may receive:
- Blood and urine tests
- Breathing support, including oxygen, a tube down the throat and a breathing machine in serious cases
- Chest x-ray
- Intravenous fluids
- Medicines to treat symptoms
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually start three days to one month after being bitten by an infected tick. Although symptoms of Lyme disease can be different from person to person, most people experience mild flu-like symptoms soon after being bitten. A small number may have more serious symptoms, sometimes weeks after the bite.
Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may include:
For more information, visit Lyme disease: Symptoms and treatment.
Antibiotic Treatment Of Lyme Disease:
For drugs, dosages, and duration of treatment therapy, please consult a reference such as Clinical Practice Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America , American Academy of Neurology , and American College of Rheumatology : 2020 Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease, which is listed in the Physician Resources US section below.
In early localized disease or early disseminated disease with isolated facial nerve palsy, the treatment of choice is oral doxycycline for patients of any age. However, doxycycline has not been adequately studied in pregnancy, and consideration should be given to the alternatives, amoxicillin or cefuroxime.
Early disseminated Lyme disease with meningitis or cardiac symptoms or late disseminated Lyme disease may also be treated with oral antibiotic agents, including doxycycline. The longer duration of treatment of late disseminated disease means that children younger than 8 years should receive an antibiotic other than doxycycline. The American Academy of Pediatrics states in its 2018 Red Book that there are limited safety data on the use of doxycycline for > 21 days in children < 8 years if age. Consider consultation with an infectious disease specialist in the event of disseminated Lyme disease.
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Treatment Following A Tick Bite
- In some circumstances, a single dose of antibiotic given within 72 hours of a tick bite might prevent the development of Lyme disease. Several criteria must be met:
- The tick must be identified as the blacklegged tick .
- The tick must have been attached for at least 36 hours .
- The tick bite occurred in a highly endemic area
What Tickborne Disease Data Are Available On The Data Portal
Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis incidence and deer tick data are now available for hundreds of Maine towns.
- Town, county and state level incidence of these three tickborne diseases for the years 2001 to 2020.
- Adult Lyme disease prevalence for the years2011 to 2016.
- Maps showing towns where deer ticks were found for the years 1989 to 2013.
- A near real-time data dashboard with daily updates on the number of cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis reported and classified so far in 2022, as well as weekly updates on the number of tick-related emergency department visits.
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Submit A Tick Photo For Identification
You can submit photographs of ticks for rapid photo identification through the eTick website or using the eTick app.
- Download the eTick app on or the Apple Store
How to submit a tick photo to eTick:
Tick And Mosquito Frequently Asked Questions
Maine has high rates of tickborne diseases across the state. Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are the most reported tickborne diseases in Maine. Mosquito-borne diseases acquired in Maine are rare in humans, but can include Eastern Equine Encephalitis , West Nile virus, and Jamestown Canyon virus.
Tick and mosquito-borne diseases can range from mild to severe and vary based onthe disease. Flu-like symptoms, especially in the summer months, are a sign of a vectorborne illness and could be caused by a tick or a mosquito. If a person is not treated early for a tick or mosquito-borne disease, symptoms could become more serious.
Maine CDC receives many tick and mosquito-related consults through Maine CDC’s Disease Reporting Hotline. The Division of Disease Surveillance also participates in many educational events each year. Many people ask where the Maine CDC gets information, so Maine CDC and its partners, through the Vectorborne Workgroup, developed this messaging. Each section below contains answers to frequently asked questions on each topic.
The information on these pages include:
- Tick and Mosquito Bite Prevention
- Property and Host Management
- Lyme Disease and Other Tickborne Diseases Found in Maine
- Symptoms of Tick and Mosquito-borne Diseases in Animals
- Tick and Mosquito Prevention in Pets
- Other Resources
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When Can I Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can occur during any time of the year. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are spread by infected black-legged ticks. Young ticks are most active during the warm weather months between May and July. Adult ticks are most active during the fall and spring but may also be out searching for a host any time that winter temperatures are above freezing.
Laboratory Testing Of Ticks For Surveillance
Only ticks that have been requested to be submitted to the lab following photo identification through eTick will be accepted for testing at the lab. This ensures the best use of laboratory services. Most ticks found in Alberta are not the type that can transmit Lyme disease.
Note that Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health and Indigenous Services Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch offices are not accepting tick submissions.
If you are asked to submit your tick to the Alberta Public Health Laboratory through eTick, complete and print the Tick Testing Request form that must accompany your tick to the lab . Submitting a tick to the lab when requested is optional. By submitting the tick when requested, you are helping Alberta Health to monitor for ticks of public health concern in Alberta.
Members of the public can drop off their completed Tick Testing Request form and tick specimen at a local lab location, or send it by mail.
Collection, shipping instructions, drop off locations and mailing address are provided on the Tick Testing Request form as well as below:
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How Can Tick Bites Be Prevented
Ticks, and thus tick bites, are fairly common in eastern and central Canada and the United States. Black-legged ticks are less frequently found in Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to other eastern Canadian provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. For information on Lyme disease risk areas in Canada, visit: Lyme disease: Prevention and risks.When visiting Lyme disease risk areas, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Quebec, the following precautions can reduce the chances of being bitten by a tick:
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas that contain high grass and leaf litter
- If you go into wooded areas, walk in the center of cleared paths
- Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants to spot ticks more easily. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and pull your socks over your pant legs
- Use an insect repellent such as DEET or Icaridin
- Check yourself, your family and pets after being in an area where ticks may be present and,
- Shower or bathe within two hours of returning from outdoor activities to wash away loose ticks.
After going outdoors, do a full body tick check on yourself, your family and pets. Scan the entire body a tick can sometimes resemble a mole and be as small as the period at the end of this sentence.
Blacklegged Ticks In Toronto
The risk of acquiring Lyme disease in Toronto overall is believed to be low. However, the risk for exposure is highest in wooded, brushy areas where blacklegged tick populations are established. Personal protective measures should be taken when visiting these areas. Ticks are found in wooded or bushy areas with lots of leaves on the ground or where there are tall grasses. Blacklegged ticks are not usually found on lawns, mowed grass, sports fields or paved areas.
Ticks cannot fly or jump. Instead they wait for a host , resting on the tips of grasses and shrubs. If a person brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it quickly climbs aboard. It then finds a suitable place to bite. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but, if found, may be in hard-to-see areas such as the armpits, groin and scalp.
Ticks are small, ranging in size from a poppy seed to a pea . The size of the tick varies depending on its life stage and whether it has fed recently. The nymphal stage typically occurs during the summer months and is the stage most responsible for human infections. This is due to their very small size which prevents people form noticing them on their body. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are larger and therefore more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria.
If you find a tick on your body, it can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers.
Do not squeeze or try to burn it off
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Lyme Disease And Other Diseases Spread By Ticks
Tick-borne diseases are on the rise and present throughout our region. Prevention should be on everyones mind, particularly during the spring, summer and early fall when ticks are most active.
Lyme disease is the most commonly-reported tick-borne disease in our area. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can cause fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, the disease can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.
How To Remove A Tick Safely
Although the risk of Lyme disease is very low in Alberta, there are other tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.
It is important to properly remove a tick as soon as possible. Removing a tick 24 to 36 hours after a tick bite usually prevents Lyme disease from developing.
If a tick is attached to your skin, you can safely remove it.
- Using tweezers, gently grasp its head and mouth parts as close to your skin as possible to avoid leaving mouthparts in the skin or crushing the tick.
- Without squeezing the tick, slowly pull the tick straight up off the skin do not jerk or twist it.
- Do not apply matches, cigarettes, dish soap, petroleum jelly or any other substance to the tick. This will not encourage the tick to detach and may cause it to release infectious blood back into the wound.
- Once the tick has been removed, clean the bite area with soap and water and disinfect the area with an antiseptic. Wash hands with soap and water.
- Consider submitting a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program.
- If you do not plan to submit a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program, you can kill the tick by placing it in a freezer for 24 hours, or putting it in rubbing alcohol. Once killed, dispose of it by flushing it down the toilet, or placing it in the garbage. Avoid crushing a tick with your fingers as they may be filled with blood and other infectious material.
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Lyme Disease Risk Areas
Blacklegged ticks are spreading to new areas in Canada in part due to climate change. They can also spread by travelling on birds and deer. You can sometimes find blacklegged ticks in areas outside of where they’re known to live.
You’re most likely to encounter ticks during the spring, summer and fall. However, ticks can be active at any time of the year when the temperature is consistently above freezing. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to protect yourself against tick bites. Always take precautions against tick bites when you’re in wooded or grassy areas.
Using data from active and passive tick monitoring, the Public Health Agency of Canada identifies areas where:
- tick populations may be emerging
- people are most at risk of getting Lyme disease
Check if you’re in a risk area. Enter the first 3 characters of your postal code or municipality in the filter field below.
Chemoprophylaxis Following A Tick Bite:
A single dose of oral doxycycline may be offered to adult patients and to children of any age , when all of the following conditions are met:
- patient presents with an engorged or partially engorged blacklegged tick or history of one that was attached for more than 24 hours
- exposure in known risk area
- it has been less than 72 hours since removal of the tick
- doxycycline is not otherwise contraindicated
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How To Avoid Tick Bites:
- Wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Light coloured clothing may make ticks easier to spot.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin and follow the manufacturers instructions.
- Walk closer to the centre of trails avoiding brushy areas that may extend out on the trail edges.
- After spending time outdoors in wooded or bushy areas, shower to remove ticks before they become attached.
- Carefully check your full body and head for attached ticks.
- If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible.
- Remember to also check your children and pets for ticks.
Monitoring For Lyme Disease In Canada
Canada monitors Lyme disease to:
- keep track of the number of people infected with Lyme disease
- identify areas where tick populations may be emerging
- identify the areas where people are most at risk of getting Lyme disease
To get as much information as possible, we work with:
- provincial and territorial public health authorities
- researchers and academics
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Human Cases Of Lyme Disease In Canada
Between 2009 and 2021, provincial public health units have reported 14,616 human cases of Lyme disease across Canada.
Number of human reported Lyme disease cases from 2009 to 2021
Reported Lyme disease cases are from those who got the disease while in Canada or while abroad . The 2016 to 2021 Lyme disease cases are reported based on 2016 the Lyme disease case definition. There’s under-reporting because some cases are undetected or unreported.
All 10 provinces voluntarily provided data over the 13-year period. Territories haven’t reported any cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada since Lyme disease became nationally notifiable in 2009. This is because they haven’t had any Lyme disease cases.
Nationally notifiable diseases are infectious diseases identified by the federal, provincial and territorial governments as priorities for monitoring. Provinces and territories report annual notifiable disease data to the federal government. This helps the Public Health Agency of Canada monitor trends within provinces and across the country.
When A Patient Has Been Exposed To Ticks In Other Health Units:
Public Health Ontario has a risk area map that indicates places in which chemoprophylaxis should be considered after tick bites. For the most current map visit the Public Health Ontario Lyme diseases webpage, under Type of Resource click on Surveillance Report and look for most current year.
Please visit specific health units’ websites for the current recommendations for exposure to ticks in their respective health units. A listing of Ontario public health units can be found at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.
The Institut national de santé publique Québec publishes a risk area map for Québec at .
Health Canada has a risk area map for Canada at .
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Lyme Disease Diagnosis And Laboratory Testing
Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the presence of symptoms, a physical exam, the possibility of exposure to infected ticks and, if necessary, laboratory testing. If your health care provider suspects Lyme disease, you may be asked to provide a blood sample for testing.
Public health and laboratory experts in Canada, the United States and worldwide support the 2-step testing used in Alberta as the best laboratory method for supporting the diagnosis of Lyme disease. These high standards help protect individuals from misleading false-positive results and unnecessary treatments.
In Alberta, laboratory testing for the first step is done by the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health. The second verification step is done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to reduce the chances of false-positive results.
The Alberta government advises against the use of laboratory testing offered by some private laboratories outside of Canada. Some of these laboratories use non-standardized testing methods. These methods may report a higher number of false-positive results.
False positives can result in misdiagnosis that can lead to a delay in finding the actual cause of an individuals illness, as well as unnecessary, expensive and sometimes harmful treatments.
A 2014 study found that one alternate United States laboratory had incorrectly diagnosed Lyme disease in up to 57% of healthy people who did not have Lyme disease.