Lyme DiseaseWhat does the Health Unit do?
The Northwestern Heath Unit tracks medically confirmed Lyme disease in the area and helps people learn how to reduce their risk of getting Lyme disease.
The Health Unit also completes active and passive surveillance for black-legged ticks in our region. Individuals can bring in any suspect black-legged ticks found on humans to the health unit and it will be assessed and/or tested for Lyme disease. If the tick was found on a human, and is a black-legged (deer) tick, it should be saved alive in a container with a lid. The health unit will test it for Lyme disease.
The Health Unit uses surveillance data to track whether or not vector species ticks are becoming more common to an area.Local surveillance data of Lyme Disease can be found here.Diagnosing and Treating Patients
Lyme disease should be suspected when there is known or probable tick exposure and when symptoms appear in accordance with timelines of the disease progression. It is important to diagnose Lyme Disease early, but can be challenging as Lyme Disease can present similarly to many other diseases.I
Recommendations for treatment and diagnosing can be found below:
PHO: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/Technical_report_update_on_Lyme_disease_prevention_and_control.pdfMessaging to Patients
- The risk of Lyme disease is never zero. Black-legged ticks may enter any area on a migratory bird.
- Inspect daily for ticks. Black-legged ticks are small and careful inspection is needed. If ticks are removed daily, the risk of Lyme disease is nearly eliminated
- When seeking medical attention, report any history of tick exposure, rash associated with a bite, travel history and possible exposure dates.