Protecting yourself from ticks and Lyme disease

Ticks are becoming more prevalent during the hot summer months.

One thing you can do if you are bitten is head to a pharmacist as they can now assess and prescribe medication for tick bites.

If left untreated, tick bites can lead to Lyme disease.

Symptoms include fever, headaches, fatigue and skin rashes.

Celebrities like Shania Twain and Justin Bieber have been diagnosed with the disease in the past.

Loa Manning, a Lethbridge pharmacist with Shoppers Drug Mart says there are ways we can protect ourselves from ticks and Lyme disease.

“Some basic things are trying to stay on paths and not walking off paths in long grassy areas, because they can even be found in your backyard or even golf courses. So, you want to make sure that you wear light colored clothing so that it’s easier to see the tick. Tuck in your socks and your shirts. Wear insect repellent that has DEET and other ingredients to protect against that. And then most importantly, when you come inside, you want to check and make sure you don’t have any ticks on yourself or your pet. Have a shower, if possible, or a bath. And then if you find one, you want to remove it as soon as possible because they have to be on your skin for 24 hours for that bacteria that can cause Lyme disease to be transmitted into your body. So the sooner you remove it, the better. And you would do that by taking some sharp tweezers and just pulling it directly off. You don’t want to twist it or squeeze it, take a picture of it or save it in a plastic bag so you can bring it to your healthcare professional and they can identify it. Because not every tick causes Lyme disease, but you want to be safe.”

According to the Alberta government between 1991 and 2021 there were 149 human cases of Lyme disease reported.

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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