Where-ever you are this Labour Day Long Weekend, it is important to also be safe in the outdoors, as well as be aware of the rarer but potentially dangerous summer threats. Tick bites are a frequent summer threat. Unlike mosquitoes, ticks “latch” onto us for as many as several days. As with mosquito bites, most tick bites are harmless, but some ticks may spread diseases. For example, local deer ticks can spread Lyme disease to humans. Ticks may look as small as a sesame seed, or as large as a small pea. It is important to search for ticks on the skin and scalp after spending time outdoors in grassy or wooded areas. Usually tick bites are painless and go unnoticed by the victim. After spending time outdoors, it is important to check for ticks that may have latched on an unsuspecting host. Pay extra attention to skinfold areas (such as behind the knee, the groin area and the underarm), and don’t forget to check the scalp!
Ticks can be removed by grasping the head with tweezers and pulling directly away from the skin. Be sure not to leave any part of the tick in the skin. If someone has a red rash around a tick bite or experiences fever, muscle or joint aches, rashes, or flu-like symptoms, it is very important to seek medical attention to evaluate for possible infection.