Lyme Disease – Part 2

In Part 1 of my Lyme Disease Series, I talked about some of the problems in getting a proper diagnosis of Lyme. In this article I wanted to give you some more information on how to prevent it.
The more you know, the more you can do to treat and prevent it.

What do I need to know about deer ticks?

Here is their 2-year life cycle – they can feed on humans in both the nymph stage and the adult stage, but highly unlikely in the winter. They can get on you by transferring from long grass, bushes, trees, etc.

Lyme Disease

and this is how small they are…

Lyme Disease Part 2

What do I do if I find one?

1) If it has already bitten you, caution must be taken to remove it promptly – you don’t want to break the tick and leave the jaws in your skin. Use some tweezers, or a tick puller to remove it completely.
Although B. burgdorferi may be present in the tick, it is not transmitted to you before 36 hours. However, some of the other species of Borrelia have been found to transmit much more rapidly.

Lyme Disease Part 2

2) Put it in a sealed container and take it to your doctor or local Public Health Unit for testing. The more data we provide the government, the more seriously they’ll take this disease. Here is the information for Hamilton:

Hamilton Public Health Services
110 King St. West, 2nd Floor
Hamilton, ON   L8P 4S6

Tel : 905-546-CITY (2489)
TTY 1-800-855-0511
Website : www.hamilton.ca/publichealth

For other regions, check here on the Government of Ontario’s site.

Remember – prevention is key!

  • Long, light-coloured clothes and cover up
  • Make it a habit to do a tick check after being outside
  • You can use a repellent on your clothes or skin – a natural variety could include oils of rosemary, garlic, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, thyme, and geranium
  • This one might be harder find, but you could also try the oil from the wild tomato plant Lycopersicon hirsutum, which might have the greatest efficacy
  • Wash and dry your clothes – the ticks hate high temperatures

More information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/lyme-disease