Outdoor workers across several Canadian provinces confront a significant health risk posed by Lyme Disease, transmitted by ticks. Occupations such as landscaping, brush clearing, forestry work, park maintenance, and wildlife management are particularly susceptible to tick bites and subsequent Lyme Disease infection.

Ticks, small arachnids with eight legs, feed on the blood of various animals, including humans. Although typically harmless, they transmit the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease. The primary carrier, the deer tick, is incredibly small, approximately the size of the dot at the end of this sentence.

Early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment can effectively cure Lyme Disease. However, responses to treatment can vary among individuals, and some symptoms may persist for years.

To prevent illness from tick bites, follow these precautions:

  • When working or walking in grassy or wooded areas, ensure proper coverage by wearing sturdy shoes, long pants tucked into socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET or permethrin, following the instructions on the label diligently.
  • Regularly check for ticks while outdoors and during breaks. After outdoor activities, shower and wash your hair thoroughly. Ticks are believed not to transmit the disease until they have been attached for 36 to 48 hours and engorged with blood.
  • If a tick is found attached to the skin, use tweezers or protected fingers to gently remove it without squeezing. Wash the area thoroughly and dispose of the tick properly. If Lyme Disease is suspected, preserve the tick in a sealed container and take it to a doctor.
  • Be vigilant for early signs of Lyme Disease infection, such as a red rash (potentially in a “bulls-eye” pattern) in the first one to two weeks. Flu-like symptoms and joint pain may develop within the first month, followed by extreme fatigue, neck stiffness, finger tingling, and facial paralysis. Severe headaches, arthritis, heart issues, and central nervous system complications can manifest weeks or months later.

Stay informed about the prevalence of Lyme Disease in your area and adopt measures to safeguard yourself while engaging in outdoor activities or work.