Lyme disease is caused by the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. In Ontario, this bacterium is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (commonly called deer ticks). Blacklegged ticks are the only type of tick in Ontario that can consistently transmit Lyme disease.
Common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, headache, muscle or joint pains, fatigue, and a skin rash, especially one that looks like a red bull's eye (the rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected individuals). The incubation period of the disease can be 7-10 days but can be within 3-32 days after an infected tick bite.
It is important that the tick is carefully removed and secured. We strongly encourage you to contact Hastings Prince Edward Public Health so that we can have the tick identified and tested (this does not apply to Prince Edward County) for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and promptly seek medical consultation.
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is a disease that is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. The majority of infected individuals have mild or no symptoms. However, the elderly and those with certain chronic medical problems, including problems with their immune systems, can become ill. West Nile Virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis.
Mosquitoes acquire the West Nile virus by feeding on infected birds. You cannot get the disease from person-to-person contact or from handling dead birds. No specific treatment or vaccination is available for West Nile virus. For severe illness, supportive therapy is provided.
How do I protect myself and my family?
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. If you need to be outside during this time, the simplest precaution is to wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use an insect repellent.