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Up until 2011, there have been 120 cases of Lyme disease confirmed in the province

CBC News

Posted: Sep 5, 2012 7:04 AM AT

Last Updated: Sep 5, 2012 12:22 PM AT

Though numbers of ticks carrying Lyme disease in Nova Scotia haven’t been confirmed yet for 2012, one New Brunswick scientist warns that it could be on the rise.

Ticks were first spotted at Admiral’s Cove Park in Bedford in 2006.

It’s one of five areas in the province where Lyme disease and the ticks that carry it have been found.

Researchers at Mount Allison University said the number of ticks carrying the disease has jumped from 15 per cent to 40 per cent in New Brunswick.

Professor Vett Lloyd said numbers haven’t been confirmed in Nova Scotia, but it’s possible the results are similar.

“There are probably pockets where the frequency is 40 per cent, there may also be small regions where the frequency is higher,” Lloyd said.

Two years ago the province overruled a decision by city council to spray an insecticide all around Admiral’s Cove Park to try to control the spread of the tick.

Deer baiting stations may be the best defence against the spread of the disease.

As the deer bends its neck to eat corn, an insecticide is applied that’s supposed kill any tick on its body.

Stopping the spread

Andrew Hebda, an entomologist at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, said he believes the increase isn’t as high as some scientists claim it to be, but there’s no stopping the spread.

see full story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/09/04/ns-lyme-disease-nova-scotia.html

Halifax News Net

Published on July 31, 2009

By Lindsay Jones – The Weekly News

There are more reports of blacklegged ticks in the metro area this summer, but so far, none have tested positive for Lyme disease outside of the established area of Bedford.
Haligonians have discovered and submitted about 40 blacklegged ticks so far this summer – up from about a half dozen turned in last year, says Andrew Hebda, a zoologist at the Museum of Natural History.
“In part, there’s increased awareness so people are looking for ticks,” Hebda said.
“The other thing is … people are seeing a lot more ticks.”
Dog or wood ticks, which don’t carry diseases, are now being found in large numbers both in peninsular Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Sackville. The public has brought about 90 of them to the museum so far this summer, Hebda added.
Blacklegged ticks have been found in Halifax, specifically in Spryfield, York Redoubt National Historic Site and Fergusons Cove, as well as Fergusons Cove. None have been found to carry Lyme disease.
“The issue with blacklegged ticks is they’re been moved around by birds … and where we’re finding them is pretty well scattered throughout the province in random places,” Hebda said.
Blacklegged ticks are brown to reddish-orange, lack white markings on their backs and are much smaller than dog ticks. Their legs aren’t necessarily black.
When they’re hungry, they climb up tall grass or short shrubs and hang on with their front legs until a person or animal walks by. If they’re knocked off the plant, they start climbing up the body – rarely above the waistline – before they start embedding. Ticks found in the scalp line are usually dog ticks.

BLACKLEGGED TICKS AND LYME DISEASE

The earliest and most common symptom of Lyme disease is a bull’s-eye rash at the site of a tick bite. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches.
Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics if detected early.
The disease can lead to more serious illnesses such as facial palsy (a weakening of facial muscles) and heart or chronic joint problems if untreated, though they’re rare.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Health Promotion and Protection suggests the top ways to avoid getting Lyme disease:
* Protect yourself from ticks by using insect repellent containing DEET.
* Cover as much skin as possible when outdoors.
* Check yourself and your children for ticks after outdoor activities in areas where blacklegged ticks are established.
Source: Department of Health Promotion
and Protection

“If you go for a walk in the woods, stick to the path,” Hebda said. “Keep your grass a little bit lower.”
A blacklegged tick may start feeding 24 to 48 hours after it lands on you. Hebda suggested checking for ticks by feeling for new bumps on the skin after returning from a walk. If you discover a tick, don’t use Vaseline or oil. Grab the tick firmly at the base and pull it straight out.
“We need all the feeding bits to be able to confirm the identification,” he said. “And if you leave some bits inside you they could get infected.”
He asked that people put the tick in a vial or tape it to a piece of cardstock and bring it into the museum on Summer Street in Halifax, or to any Department of Natural Resources office in the province. Jot down as much information as possible about the area the tick was found, and where it may have been picked up.
“The more information that accompanies it the better, because we’re trying to confirm where are all the tick species in the province, when are they appearing and if any diseases appear,” Hebda said.
The areas where blacklegged ticks have tested positive for Lyme disease include the Admiral’s Cove Park area in Bedford, andBedfordand Shelburne counties.
lindsayleejones@gmail.com

See Article:

http://www.halifaxnewsnet.ca/Business/2009-07-31/article-989452/Ticks-carrying-Lyme-disease-found-only-in-certain-areas/1