This Version Posted: July 8, 2021
It’s time for a ‘tick talk’ – a reminder to be on the lookout for blacklegged (or deer) ticks that may spread Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a serious illness that, left untreated, can lead to recurring arthritis, neurological problems, numbness or paralysis.
Some blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes Lyme disease. If this type of tick attaches to you, it will bite and feed on your blood. The longer an infected tick feeds, the greater your risk of getting Lyme disease.
Blacklegged ticks are present across Ontario, as is shown on the latest 2021 Lyme Disease Risk Map from Public Health Ontario. Wherever you live, work or play, reduce your risk of Lyme disease by avoiding blacklegged ticks that can spread illness.
Reduce Your Risk:
Fight Lyme disease by avoiding blacklegged ticks that can spread illness:
- Lyme Disease Prevention Tips – Ontario Ministry of Health
- Watch this short Health Unit video below on ways to prevent Lyme disease by avoiding blacklegged ticks that can spread illness.
Removing a Tick:
- If you notice a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible.
Testing for Ticks
- The Health Unit no longer accepts blacklegged ticks for testing, but you can still identify ticks by using the free eTick website. To use the site:
- Simply submit a photo of the tick you encounter
- You’ll be notified within 48 hours if the tick is the type that may spread Lyme disease
- You can then determine what additional care you need, including whether to see a health care provider.
- If you would like to have a tick tested for the presence of Lyme Disease, there are several private labs that can test the tick for a fee:
When to Seek Medical Attention:
- You experience symptoms of Lyme disease.
- A blacklegged tick is attached for 24+ hours or is engorged (meaning it’s fed for some time)
For more assistance, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.