June 19, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are being reminded by Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health, to protect themselves against Lyme disease.
Tomorrow, the provincial government will launch an awareness campaign to encourage the public to minimize the risk of exposure to Lyme disease.
"There are indications that blacklegged ticks and Lyme disease are spreading in eastern Canada, including New Brunswick," said Cleary. "However, many New Brunswickers are not aware of the seriousness of this disease."
To protect against Lyme disease, New Brunswickers should:
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans from an infected blacklegged tick. The tick can only transmit the bacteria after it has been attached to the skin for 24 to 36 hours. The disease may be prevented by avoiding blacklegged tick bites and removing attached ticks promptly and correctly. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.
In most cases, the first symptom of Lyme disease is a bull's eye target rash near the tick bite. The rash usually appears seven to 10 days after the bite, but the range is between three to 30 days.
Infected individuals may also develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, stiff neck, all-over soreness, and joint pain or swelling. These symptoms may appear in stages and occur over a period of months.
More information about Lyme disease, including instructions on safely removing ticks, is available www.gnb.ca\health.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.