Parasitic biting insect on background of epidermis detail. Disgusting carrier of encephalitis, Lyme disease or babesiosis infections. Tick-borne diseases

This Version Posted: July 11, 2022

Watch out 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 2022 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:

Removing a Tick:

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:
  • A blacklegged tick is attached for 24+ hours or is engorged (meaning it’s fed for some time)
  • You have been to an area where blacklegged ticks may be found and develop symptoms of Lyme disease. Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can vary from person to person. In some instances, Lyme disease can occur in early or later stages, with some overlap. Some people without a history of prior signs or symptoms may experience problems with Lyme disease days or months after being bitten by an infected tick.
Treatment

Health care providers can take steps to diagnose and treat Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, and the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can start and the greater the chance of a successful recovery. Currently, there are no Lyme disease vaccines, although clinical trials are underway in Europe and the U.S.

For more assistance, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

Additional Resources