‘Ground zero’ here for Lyme disease, Clark says

Excerpted from The Recorder & Times  ( Posted: 10/24/2011)

The most recent figures from the local health unit show that Lyme disease continues to gnaw at Leeds and Grenville.

Joan Mays, manager of health protection for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, told The Recorder and Times that 348 ticks have been submitted through the health unit for testing so far in 2011. Of these, she said, 30 have tested positive for the bacteria that cause the disease.

Mays noted the numbers are remarkably close to those posted in 2010, when 382 ticks were collected over the course of the full year, 32 of which tested positive for the bacteria.

“We’re pretty much in the same ballpark,” she said.

Although summer is rapidly becoming a distant memory, Mays said that tick season is far from over. Mays lives in the Ivy Lea area, a noted hotbed for the tiny black-legged ticks, and said she and her husband have noticed a definite increase in the blood-sucking critters of late.

“What’s happening right now is, we’re pulling two ticks a day off our dog,” she said.

The ticks are now in their adult stage, Mays said, making it much easier to spot them.

“You can see them now, or feel them crawling on your skin,” she said.

With deer-hunting season just around the corner, Mays also offered up some tips for local hunters who may fall victim to inadvertently picking up some of the little vampires on their travels. She recommends tucking your pants into your boots and having someone check places you can’t see, such as your back, anytime you return indoors.

“Check for ticks as soon as you get indoors,” she said.

With Lyme disease still a growing concern in a region identified as endemic to it, a new petition aimed at pushing the provincial government to start funding more tests and treatments for Lyme disease will soon be making its way to Queen’s Park courtesy of Leeds- Grenville MPP Steve Clark.

For the complete article:  http://recorder.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3343029

~ by Rob on October 24, 2011.

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