By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News
Chatham-Kent has seen an increase in reported human cases of Lyme disease, compared to other areas in the region.
There has been four confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Chatham-Kent so far this year with another case still under investigation. This is up from two confirmed cases in 2012, according to a report presented to the Chatham-Kent Board of Health. A single case was reported in 2011 and none in 2010.
Rondeau Provincial Park is a hotspot for blacklegged ticks – also know as deer ticks – which carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Other areas where these ticks are established along the north shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario include Point Pelee National Park, Turkey Point Provincial Park, Long Point Provincial Park, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area and St. Lawrence Islands National Park.
The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has also seen an increase in the number of ticks submitted by the public for identification, jumping to 53 from 44 last year. However, only two were identified as blacklegged ticks and only one tested positive. [CanLyme note: that is a 50% tick infection rate within the blacklegged ticks… and no one has actually gone out and looked, they are only waiting for people to send them ticks. Lyme disease is everywhere that our birds fly, so why people keep referring to only certain areas is beyond reason in the year 2013. Also the other species of ticks carry other dangerous pathogens that can infect humans as well]