Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Ticks and Lyme disease: what trail runners need to know

Ticks and Lyme disease: what trail runners need to know

Health inspector Wanda Tonus said about a dozen ticks have already been turned into Peterborough Public Health to be tested for Lyme Disease.

However, the tick carrying SFTS is not found in Kentucky, so physicians and public health officials are less concerned about this condition in the commonwealth.

Making sure your pet has regular Lyme disease vaccinations is key in preventing Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Borrelia miyamotoi are similar to that of Lyme disease and include chills, fever, and headache.

Dr. David Visser at the Center for Animal Health encourages pet owners to regularly check their pets for ticks. "Our protocol says if you are suspicious of Lyme disease, you start treating it".

Preliminary 2017 case counts show 254 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH previous year, as well as 24 cases of ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis and 17 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - all increases over 2016.

Entomologist David Beresford said while we have seen an increase in the number of ticks in the region, the risk of contracting Lyme remains quite low. "Deer ticks can be small; you can miss them so you need a good light and need to be compulsive about checking yourself head to toe".

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If Lyme Disease is left untreated, it can cause joint pain, facial droops, and other medical problems.

"The physician has to be thinking: 'Could this be something else beyond the ones that we normally get?'" said Rusk.

"Doing a full body check is very important because you don't really feel when a tick is attaching to the body".

Health officials say the best practice to avoid being bit by a tick is to cover up when heading into the brush, including tucking your pant legs into your socks.

Anyone who finds a tick can send an image of the insect to Manitoba's Tick Checker and they will be able to tell you what kind of tick it is, and if the bug should be sent in for testing.

Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually occur within one to two weeks after a tick bite, but can occur as soon as three days or as long as a month after a bite.

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