Cases of Lyme disease in Quebec are increasingly present with the number of ticks on the rise across the province including the Pontiac sector of the Outaouais region.
Émily Manthrop, a physician specializing in public health and preventive medicine at the Direction de la Santé Publique in the Outaouais, explained that the risk of contracting Lyme disease generally occurs when the tick remains attached to humans for more than 24hrs.
In the Outaouais, the municipalities which considered to be “endemic areas”, are Bristol, Pontiac, La Pêche and Chelsea. The presence of carrier ticks were also detected in the municipalities of Shawville, Otter Lake, Mansfield, Fort-Coulonge, Cantley, Val-des-Monts and the City of Gatineau.
Dr. Manthrop also spoke about the presence of ticks in the region and the progression that is foreseen for the coming years.
To learn more on Lyme disease, listen to the full interview with Dr Emily Manthrop here.
Lyme disease can affect the health and quality of life of some people. It is important to adopt simple and effective prevention measures:
Between May and November, during outdoor activities:
* - Wear a hat, closed shoes and long clothes.
* - Tuck-in your sweater into your pants and the bottom of pants into your socks or boots.
* - Use a DEEP or icaridin-based repellent following the application recommendations.
* - When hiking, walk on trails and avoid tall grass.
To reduce the presence of ticks in your environment:
* - Cut tall grass and brush around your house and lawn, especially near children’s play areas.
* - Remove dead leaves, brush and weeds from the lawn and around the edge of the wood and shed.
* - Create paths (at least 3 meters wide) in wood shavings or gravel between wooded areas and lawns, patios and play areas.
- Upon returning from an outdoor activity, examine your equipment and your entire body. Take advantage of bath time to examine your children or to do a self examination while in the shower or bath. If you see a tick, remove it with tweezers and store it in a tightly closed container.
- If you are bitten by a tick in a municipality in the Pontiac, the municipality of Chelsea or the municipality of La Pêche, call Info-Santé 811 to verify your eligibility for preventive treatment. You can also consult your pharmacist who can assess the need to prescribe preventive treatment if you have been bitten in these areas and bring the tick with you.
- If symptoms are observed in the months following a bite, such as redness at the bite site, fever, headache, fatigue and stiff neck, see a doctor .
For more information on how to remove a tick or for any other relevant information: https://cisssoutaouais.gouv.qc.ca/sante-publique/prevention-des-maladies-infectieuses-ettransmissibles/autres-maladies-infectieuses/maladie-de-lyme/