What you need to know to protect yourself
EDMONTON – They are so small you may not even see them, but they can cause very big problems.
Ticks that sometimes carry Lyme disease are a growing concern in Canada, with the pinhead-sized insects inching north from the United States. Last week, MPs voted to implement a national Lyme disease strategy expected to pass through the Senate in the next few weeks.
Lyme disease carrying ticks in Alberta are rare, but of 960 ticks collected in the province last year, 21 carried the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and 13 of the carrier ticks were found in the Edmonton area. Only one of the ticks collected was found on a human.
Should Albertans be concerned about a growing risk of Lyme disease? Martin Lavoie, deputy chief medical officer at Alberta Health, weighs in.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria and usually it comes in from a bite from an infected tick. In the following days or weeks, you may develop a red circle around where the bite was, with an outer red ring which looks like a target. If you know there was a bite, you can get tested and a short course of antibiotics will clear the infection completely….