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County an area of concern for ticks

fed-tickThe area’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Richard Schabas said an increasing number of ticks increases risks for Hastings and Prince Edward counties residents (and pets).

Schabas provided an update Monday, to the Board of Health, on Lyme disease and a possible case of tick-borne encephalitis this summer.

He said the population of black-legged ticks – the carriers of Lyme disease – seems to be increasing and noted the health unit continues to focus on education for the public and primary care providers regarding prevention of tick bites, identification and removal of ticks, and Lyme disease treatment. HPE Public Health sends ticks it receives to a Winnipeg laboratory where they are tested to see if they are Lyme disease carriers. This is done for surveillance purposes, to identify the locations of disease-carrying ticks.
He noted less than 20 per cent of the ticks submitted test positive for Lyme.

Prince Edward County has a higher level of ticks and is considered an area of concern.

Removal of a tick within 24 to 48 hours of the tick attaching itself to a person may prevent transmission of the disease but he said symptoms may not appear until 36 hours after infection.

Top 5 tick habitat precautions
Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting inside your pants.
Check your clothes for ticks often. Ticks will climb upwards until they find an area of exposed skin.
Wear light coloured clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
Walk on pathways or trails when possible staying in the middle. Avoid low-lying brush or long grass.
Apply insect repellent to your skin and clothing, especially at the openings such as ankle, wrist and neck.

In other health unit news:

New Belleville Building
The Board of Health was advised that most of the remaining work has been or is being completed on the new 179 North Park Street building. It was reported that a diesel spill was identified at the generator site for the old building, which resulted in a demolition delay and $60,000 cost for clean-up of contaminated soil.

Health Protection and Enforcement Report
The Health Protection Department presented its quarterly report of enforcement activity for the period of April 1 to June 30, 2015. Smoke-Free Ontario enforcement staff conducted:
61 vendor compliance checks to ensure that area retailers are not providing tobacco to persons under 19 years of age;
38 annual inspections to ensure that tobacco vendors are in compliance with display and promotion restrictions; and
242 inspections to ensure that workplaces, including work vehicles, and other prescribed areas (school campuses, hospital entrances, etc. are smoke-free with proper signage and no ashtrays.
These inspections resulted in the issuance of 18 written or verbal warnings and 16 charges.

Public Health Inspector activity for the quarter included the following inspections/investigations:
500 food premises;
120 rabies reports;
37 small drinking water systems;
79 recreational water premises;
28 personal services settings; and
504 public complaints/requests for information.
Four tickets were issued under the Food Premises Regulation. Legal fees of $15,428.61 were incurred in the period, most of which related to the appeal of a small drinking water system infraction.

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  1. Jeff Levy says:

    A comprehensive overview of the medical and political issues surrounding Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, based on scientifically-validated peer-reviewed published research, can be found at http://www.lymedisease.org/8-page-lyme-disease-insert/.

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