- We do have Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the province of Alberta.
- Both of these diseases are carried by ticks
- Ticks can be found anywhere but be very suspicious around sunny south facing slopes in the spring or where sheep or deer sleep over!
- It will take an hour or two, once a tick is on you for it to find a nice “fold” in the skin or for it to move to the hairline where it will attempt to feed.
- Their saliva contains an anesthetic that renders their bite “painless”
- The tick must be in-dedded for over 24 hours to transmit any bacteria that it may be carrying.
Spot it, Find it, Remove it
If you spot them on your light coloured clothing or equipment that has been lying on the ground be sure to tell the group and others who have been in the area. Check all of your clothing and those “difficult to self visualise” areas carefully… you have 24 hours to find it… The clock is “ticking”!
- Use only tweezers (do not use any other method)
- Grasp close to the skin and firmly pull straight out.
- Inspect the bug to ensure it is intact. Consider keeping it and sending it to the Alberta Tick Program.
- Clean the area with an antiseptic wipe and watch for signs of local infection.
Symptoms can come on gradually or fairly rapidly. In general the appear much like symptoms of the flu; fever and chills; sore throat; headaches; congestions; fatigue. In addition:
Lyme Disease – Rash around the bite site (only happens 30% of the time) – Bulls eye rash at the bite site (only happens 9% of the time) – Joint pain
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Rash appears 2-5 days post bite and initially appears as small, flat pink, non-itchy spots on wrists, ankles and forearms – Red/Purple rash appears after 6 days and occurs in up to 60% of cases.