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Ottawa Public Health reminding residents of tick risk

Ottawa Public Health said ticks can be small and hard to see.
File photo.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding citizens to be wary of ticks while outside. 

"If you are in outdoor areas suitable for ticks, for example, wooded areas or areas with tall grasses, you need to be aware of the risk of Lyme disease," OPH stated.

A 2019 University of Ottawa study found that one-third of black-legged ticks in the Ottawa region were carrying Lyme disease.

Caused by ticks that carry the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi, Lyme disease typically causes symptoms like fatigue, fevers, muscle aches and a red 'bulls-eye' rash within three to 32 days of being bitten. 

In 2018, 90 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Ottawa compared to only six cases in 2008. 

OFH recommends applying an approved insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin, doing a tick check, checking pets daily for ticks, especially if they spend time in wooded or overgrown areas, and removing ticks as soon as possible.

"If you find a tick on your body, using fine-pointed tweezers, grasp the tick's head as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly until the tick is removed," OPH said. "Do not twist or rotate the tick. Do not use a match, lotion or anything else on the tick." 

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