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, busy 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
Can Lyme Disease Be Treated
Yes. People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for oral treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. People with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatment with antibiotics such as ceftriaxone or penicillin. For additional information, please consult the CDC webpage at .
Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
Not all cases of Lyme disease can be prevented. But you can protect yourself from tick bites. If you go into an area where ticks live, be sure to:
- Stay in the middle of the trail instead of going through high grass or the woods.
- Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck pant legs into shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up legs.
- Use an insect repellent.
- Consider treating your clothing and gear with permethrin to repel ticks.
- Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
- Shower and wash hair after being outside to remove ticks before they attach.
- Remove any ticks you find right away.
You May Like: Over The Counter Treatment For Lyme Disease
Herbal Repellants Might Be Worth A Try
Some people say natural methods repel bugs as well as more pernicious repellants. Others are somewhat less certain of their efficacy, but they might be worth a try for people who are adamant about avoiding harsh chemicals. Essential oils can be applied to skin and clothing, or mixed with witch hazel to make a spray. The oils that are most effective against ticks are pennyroyal, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and citronella.
How Not To Remove A Tick
There are many old wives’ tales about things you can put on ticks that will make them “back out.” But they won’t back out once attached, they stay that way until they are good and ready to leave, unless they are pulled out. So forget the nail polish and petroleum jelly they don’t work. Don’t try to burn the tick with a match, either.
Recommended Reading: What Happens When You Have Lyme Disease
Can You Prevent Lyme Disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to protect yourself from ticks. Cover up as much skin as you can when you’re going to be in wooded or grassy areas. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants with the legs tucked into your socks. And keep in mind that it’s easier to see ticks on light-coloured clothes.
Use a bug repellent that has the chemical DEET to keep away ticks. Use products that contain 0.5% permethrin on your clothing and outdoor gear, such as your tent. You can also buy clothing already treated with permethrin. Permethrin is not available as an insect repellent in Canada, but travel health clinics may be able to advise you on how to buy permethrin or permethrin-treated gear.
Check your pets for ticks after they’ve been outside. You can’t get Lyme disease from your pet. But your pet can bring infected ticks inside. These ticks can fall off your pet and attach to you. Check your clothing and outdoor gear after you have been outside. Remove any ticks you find. Then put your clothing in a clothes dryer on high heat for 1 hour to kill any ticks that might remain.
How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
Once a tick bites a dog, a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi gets into a dog or humans bloodstream. The bacteria then travels to various parts of the body and begins to infect different organs and joints.
Ticks dont jump or fly the way fleas do, theyre a little harder to notice. Ticks wait for a host to pass by as they hide in vegetation like a bush. Once a host such as a dog brushes by, the tick quickly grabs onto the dog and gets to work.
Tick infestations are more common in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and the Pacific coast. In fact, over 95% of dog Lyme disease cases occur in these regions. However, this doesnt mean that if you live elsewhere, your dog will never have Lyme disease or deal with ticks.
If you live in an area that was recently developed or has been deforested, youll be at a higher risk. Migrating deer, birds, and other wildlife affected by ticks often wander into developed areas, or on common walking trails. If the wildlife that wanders close to your property carries an infected tick, your dog is still at-risk of catching Lyme disease.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
How Lyme Disease Hides From Your Immune System
March 19, 2017 by Tricia
Why is Lyme disease so difficult to detect? Why is it so hard for a simple blood test to work accurately? Many people and doctors alike believe that Lyme disease is difficult to get but that its easy to cure which is completely untrue.
The fact is, Lyme disease is very easy to get and it is incredibly difficult to diagnose and treat, so in my Im not a doctor way, Im going to try to explain why.
DISCLAIMER: Im not a doctor and what I share here is based on my research and experience and is not intended to diagnose or treat you. Please seek the advice of a doctor.
How Much Do At
Generally, at-home Lyme disease tests cost around $100, while others may cost closer to $500. The difference comes down to how many pathogens you are hoping to test for. On average, the test will look for two or three, but more expensive tests may screen for 10 to 15.
Depending on your insurance and which test you select, it may be covered. Another option is to pay for the Lyme disease test with your HSA/FSA, since some companies will accept that as a payment form.
Don’t Miss: Can Lyme Disease Cause Jaw Pain
Move A Little Every Day
Yoga and Pilates are excellent but arent for everyone. The idea is to do something you enjoy. I also love taking walks and breathing in the fresh air and do this whenever I can get outside.
If youre stuck inside try some slow, gentle stretches or resistance training. And if you can do more and your doctor says its okay, then go for it!
Lyme Disease Treatment And Prevention Tips
By Leah Zerbe, MS, NASM-CPT, NASM-CES
Lyme disease is a complicated infection that is caused by bacteria thats transmitted from a tick or insect bite. The majority of cases of Lyme are due to a bite from a type of deer tick known as the black-legged tick, which can carry and pass on bacteria known as borrelia burgdorferi.
According to the Michigan Lyme Disease Association, more recently its also been found that other insects can also spread Lyme disease or cause similar infections including other types of ticks, mosquitoes, and possibly spiders or fleas.
Overall, up to 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year, according to new research from the Centers of Disease Control , and many seek Lyme disease treatment. Lyme disease cases are largely concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 14 states accounting for over 96 percent of cases reported to CDC.
Lyme disease symptoms can start with flulike symptoms, headaches, muscle and joint pain. Over time, the symptoms can continue to worsen and turn into a long-lived inflammatory response that is similar to an autoimmune illness.
You May Like: Best Infrared Sauna For Lyme Disease
What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:
Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease
Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.
What To Do If You Get A Tick Bite
If you have a tick bite, remove the tick from your body as soon as possible. Use a pair of tweezers and remove the entire tick from your skin without crushing it. Once the tick is out, wash the site with soap and water.
Keep an eye on the area for a rash that slowly expands, leaving a target-shaped mark. Also, watch for fevers, chills, headaches, or muscle pains, which are all early signs of Lyme disease. If you experience any of these symptoms within 30 days of the bite, you should contact a doctor.
There are still some mysteries about Lyme disease, but fortunately, most cases can be treated with a two- to four-week course of oral antibiotics. If youre worried about contracting Lyme disease, take precautions to avoid ticks in the first place:
- Wear fully covering clothing when going outside .
- Walk in the middle of trails instead of on the sides near trees and brush.
- Avoid tall grass or areas with shrubs.
Read Also: Lyme Old Lyme High School
Best For Dna Test: Selfdecode
Tests for chronic conditions related to Lyme disease like PTLDS
Results in 6-8 weeks
SelfDecode searches for more than Lyme disease. When you take an at-home test through this company, you’ll receive an entire mock-up of your DNA. You will know if you ever had Lyme disease in the past, as well as if you are susceptible to PTLDS, a chronic condition triggered by Lyme Disease.
The test involves taking a simple cheek swab, after which the test is mailed back to the company’s lab. After six to eight weeks, you will receive your results via email, and you will be contacted by a medical professional to see what the next steps are.
This is a subscription service that costs just under roughly $100 a year, so you will be able to check yourself for Lyme disease regularly when the test is shipped out. This service is great for those who enjoy the outdoors and are exposed to ticks a lot.
SelfDecode’s test is not covered by insurance, but most primary care physicians will accept these results.
What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
Read Also: What Kind Of Antibiotics Treat Lyme Disease
How We Chose The Best At
When evaluating the companies for the best at-home Lyme disease tests, we looked at several key factors in order to provide you with the best information. For one, accuracy was extremely important, so we looked at testing centers with the best reviews and certifications. Every test mentioned in this article has been evaluated and awarded for their laboratory accuracy when dealing with their at-home tests.
Since Lyme disease is so severe and a misdiagnosis can have awful repercussions, we also considered how others reviewed the at-home tests.
How Do You Contract Lyme Disease
For many years it has been understood that Lyme disease is an infection caused by being bitten by an infected tick.
It is called Lyme disease after the name of the town in the USA where it was first described back in 1975. Since then, thousands of cases have been reported both in the USA and elsewhere.
However, in the summer of 2013, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Lyme disease was much more prevalent than previously thought with well over a quarter of a million new cases diagnosed each year in the US, meaning Lyme disease is almost twice as common as breast cancer and six times more common than HIV/AIDS.
This information caused researchers to have a re-think on the spread of the disease.
You May Like: Best Lyme Disease Doctors In Massachusetts
Are Some Locations More At Risk Than Others
Yes and no. There are areas in which the bacteria is endemic meaning the disease is established and present more or less continually in that community.
In Canada, blacklegged tick populations have been confirmed or are growing in the following areas:
- Southern British Columbia.
- Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island.
- South shore and northern mainland Nova Scotia.
However, it is important to note that ticks can be spread by birds, in particular songbirds that feed off the forest floor. Because these birds are migratory, there is the potential for new populations of the bacteria to spread across the country. This fact means that you do not have to be in an endemic or high-risk area to be at risk of contacting ticks and the disease.
Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
You May Like: Full Recovery From Lyme Disease
How Is Lyme Disease Spread
The most well known method is by ticks.
Various warm blooded mammals play host to the tick. Ticks feed by biting the skin and sucking blood from these animals such as mice, deer and more. In this way, some ticks get infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease before they attach themselves to humans who might be walking in long grass.
The bacterium is usually harmless to the animals but not to humans.
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.
The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.
To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Lyme Flare Up
Avoid Tick Infested Areas
Although generally only about 1-5% of all deer ticks are infected with Lyme disease bacteria, in some areas more than half of them harbor the germs. More people with Lyme disease become infected during May through July, when immature ticks are most prevalent. In warm climates, deer ticks thrive and bite during the winter months as well.
Deer ticks are most often found in wooded and bushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter, as well as nearby shady grasslands, and are especially common where the two areas merge. They can also inhabit lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woodlands and near older stone walls.
Because adult ticks feed on deer, areas where deer are frequently seen are likely to harbor large numbers of deer ticks. When you do enter tick areas, walk in the middle of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, bushes, and leaf litter. A local park service or health department can tell you which areas are tick infested.
Where The Ticks Are
Most of the ticks that carry the disease can be found in woodlands, particularly where woodlands meet lawn. They live in tall grass and small shrubs, under groundcover, and anywhere you’d typically find rodents, such as woodpiles. Lyme disease used to be found only in western Wisconsin and between New Jersey and Connecticut, but now it’s in most of the country and as of 2018 reported in Canada too, as a result of climate change though still most prevalent in the Northeast and Midwest.
Also Check: Prophylactic Antibiotics For Lyme Disease