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Be “Tick Smart”: Prevent Lyme Disease

Have outdoor workers?  Get ready for the warmer weather by getting “tick smart.”

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged (deer) tick.  They are usually found low to the ground or settled on tall grasses and bushes where they will wait until they can attach themselves to a person or animal passing by.  Ticks can also attach themselves to migratory birds and animals and can travel almost anywhere in the province, possibly bringing Lyme disease to new locations.  It’s important that everyone is “tick smart” when they are outdoors in potential tick habitat.

Encourage all employees, especially those who work outside, to prevent tick bites that transmit Lyme disease by sharing the following information:

  • covering up with long-sleeved, light coloured clothing;
  • tucking shirts into pants and pants into tall socks;
  • wearing a bug repellant containing DEET;
  • always checking yourself for ticks — at work, check your co-workers and at home, your family and pets; and
  • taking a shower to rinse any loose ticks off.

If you do locate a tick on your body, use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull the tick straight out.  Save the tick in an empty screw-top bottle or zipper-closed bag and take it to the Peterborough County-City Health Unit at 10 Hospital Dr., Peterborough.  The tick will be sent to the Ontario Public Health Laboratory for identification.  For more information on Lyme disease, visit the Peterborough Public Health’s website and check out the Ministry of Labour’s page.

For more resources to share with employees, check out these handouts and brochures:

Insect repellent

Lyme Disease Fact Sheet

Lyme Disease Outdoor Workers

LymeDisease Brochure PHAC

Lyme Disease Poster PHAC

Source:  Peterborough Public Health

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