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Twenty-four cases of Lyme Disease in Durham

The Durham Region Health Department is reminding the public to protect themselves against Lyme disease, a serious bacterial illness that is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick or “deer” tick, which carry the bacteria.

So far this season, the health department has submitted 118 ticks for testing for Lyme disease; 28 were identified as black-legged ticks, with seven testing positive for the Lyme disease bacteria. In addition, the Health Department has received reports of 24 human cases of Lyme disease in Durham Region to date this season, which equals the entire amount for 2016.

Signs are posted in areas where black-legged ticks are more commonly found to ensure that the public is aware of these locations and can take precautions to protect against tick bites when visiting these areas.

The Health Department also continues to provide information to the public on ways to protect against tick bites and works with the local health care community on how to diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually occur within one to two weeks after a tick bite, but can be experienced as soon as three days or not happen for as long as a month. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and a circular red rash that looks like a bull’s-eye target. If detected early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Anyone who develops these symptoms after being bitten by a tick should see their health care provider.

For more information on Lyme disease, please call the Health Department’s Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613, or visit durham.ca/lyme.