Ticks season has started: what is your risk?

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Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health says previous year, there were nearly 1,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Ontario.

However, the tick carrying SFTS is not found in Kentucky, so physicians and public health officials are less concerned about this condition in the commonwealth. You can also have your yard treated for ticks by a professional lawn care company but you want to your research on the chemicals they might use.

"You treat it with the same as for Lyme", Dr. Richard Rusk, medical manager of communicable diseases at Manitoba Public Health, told CTV Manitoba.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include headaches, fever, and fatigue.

Prompt removal of ticks from the skin will help prevent infection, as transmission of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria usually requires the tick be attached for at least 24 hours.

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Entomologist David Beresford said while we have seen an increase in the number of ticks in the region, the risk of contracting Lyme remains quite low. While ticks and tick bites are common here, the diseases that ticks carry and transmit are rare - so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend routinely giving preventive antibiotics to people who have had a tick bite and are otherwise well.

As for Beresford, he said while this is the new reality, we shouldn't allow ticks to deter us from enjoying the outdoors. Fewer than half of people infected will get the classic bull's-eye rash around the site of the tick bite, and many people are not even aware they have been bitten, since ticks detach themselves after feeding.

If left untreated, the disease can infect the central and peripheral nervous systems, with symptoms becoming debilitating and chronic.

"The physician has to be thinking: 'Could this be something else beyond the ones that we normally get?'" said Rusk.

If you do find a tick on your pet, either remove it with a pair of tweezers, or a product called Tick Tornado. They are often found in bushy or wooded areas with lots of leaves on the ground or where there are tall grasses. Those heading into the woods should also apply tick repellent.

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