Beware of Deer Ticks
Previously unknown in our latitudes, Lyme disease has been steadily progressing northwards: it affects more and more hikers. It begins with localized rash but can progress to severe neurological disorders. On excursions, be careful!
Lyme disease is gradually gaining ground northward. In northeastern United States and Quebec, only the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) carries the bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) responsible for the disease. It is transmitted to humans by the painless bite of an infected tick. The tick is red-brown in color and its volume, that of a sesame seed, swells with the blood of the victim. Transmission is only performed at an ambient temperature above 4°C and the risk is minimal if the tick is removed within 24 to 36 hours.
How to avoid?
To prevent infection during forest excursions, you must:
What Symptoms? What Treatment?
A rash appears 3 to 30 days after the bite. Then, extreme fatigue, joint pain, headache, weakness of the facial muscles, eye irritation and cardiac irregularity occur. Finally, long-term neurological disorders may ensue if the disease has not received required care.
Lyme disease is not contagious. It is easier to treat soon after infection. If a tick has not been removed properly and early enough, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics.