Wearing long pants, socks and using bug spray containing deet are a few ways to protect against ticks. (Black Press files)

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the ticks are out.

Officials say the risk of Lyme disease on the Island is still relatively low but are reminding people to be aware of ticks when they are out and about.

According to Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer for Island Health, people should make checking for ticks on themselves, children and pets a regular occurrence after being outside.

READ ALSO: Citizen sightings needed for B.C. moose tick survey

Ecological conditions on Vancouver Island are the right climate for ticks and while the possibility the bacteria causing Lyme disease can also be found on those ticks she says the risk is low.

Hoyano says it’s best to take preventative measures to avoid having ticks on you in the first place, such as wearing long pants and socks, as well as using bug repellent that contains deet.

If you do find a tick on your body, she says the best way to remove it is with tweezers in order to remove the whole insect.

“The other important thing is you want to remove a tick as soon as possible after it’s attached to you,” she says. “We know the bacteria causing Lyme disease increases if that tick is on you for 24 hours or longer.”

READ ALSO: Victoria listed as endemic area for Lyme disease

Hoyano explains that Lyme disease can be treated very effectively with antibiotics but says the earlier the better. In 2017 Vancouver Island had three reported cases of the disease and in 2018 only one.

“One of the characteristics of Lyme disease is what’s called a bulls-eye rash,” she says. “It’s usually a circular red rash that spreads out from where the tick bite occurred.”

According to Hoyano, not everyone with Lyme disease will experience the bulls-eye rash so it’s good to be aware of the other symptoms including headaches or muscle and joint pain.

“That usually takes some time after the tick bites you so really if you have a tick on you today you’re not going to develop symptoms immediately and that’s why it’s important to remove the tick or try to avoid the tick in the first place.”

For more information on how to protect yourself from ticks visit healthlinkbc.ca.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read