Albertans encouraged to get ticks tested

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta took the May long weekend as an opportunity to encourage Albertans to submit ticks they discover to help monitor for the Lyme disease bacteria.

Those who encounter ticks should remove the ticks safely by using tweezers, as soon as possible.

Ticks found on people or in their surroundings can be submitted to an Environmental Public Health Office, a First Nations Health Centre or a doctor. Ticks found on pets or farm animals should be taken to a veterinarian.

The submitted ticks are checked to see if they are a species capable of carrying the Lyme disease bacteria and whether they have the bacteria.

Dr. Kristin Klein, Deputy Medical Officer of Health, said Alberta’s tick surveillance program relies on Albertans submitting ticks to determine if the ticks are able to cause Lyme disease.

“Thanks to tick submissions from previous years, we know the risk of getting Lyme disease in Alberta is very low. I encourage Albertans to keep submitting so we can continue to monitor the situation here.”

Albertans can reduce their risk of tick bites by covering up as much skin as possible when going into wooded or grassy areas, using bug spray that contains the chemical DEET, IR3535 or Icaridin, and checking themselves and their pets for ticks after spending time outside.

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