Brampton - Don’t let a tick or a mosquito bite
ruin your fun outdoors. Protect yourself against mosquitoes that can give you West
Nile Virus (WNV) and ticks that can give you Lyme disease.
“We are encouraging residents to
protect themselves by wearing insect repellent to reduce the chance of being
bitten by mosquitoes and ticks that can cause disease,” says Dr. David Mowat,
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel.
Peel Public Health is currently
investigating what appears to be a locally acquired case of Lyme Disease. There
were two locally acquired cases of the disease indentified in 2012.
Residents can protect against WNV
wearing light colours, long sleeves, long pants
and a hat
avoiding areas with high mosquito populations,
and taking extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
removing objects around their home that can hold
standing water, which are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes
Residents can protect against Lyme Disease by:
wearing long-sleeved shirts and tucking long
pants into boots or socks
staying on hiking trails and avoiding areas of
overgrown bush and long grass
checking themselves, their children and pets for
ticks when returning home from the outdoors
“We have not identified specific areas
with infected ticks in Peel, but there are other areas in Ontario that have
well-established populations of infected ticks that can cause disease,”
continues Mowat. “Ticks are often transported from one place to another on
migratory birds, so it’s impossible to predict where and when a tick bite by an
infected tick can happen.”
If residents find a tick on their
skin, they should remove it gently with tweezers and place it in a screw-top
bottle. They can take it to Peel Public Health at 7120 Hurontario Street in
Mississauga from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. so that it
can be identified. If it is a black-legged tick (the only species whose bite
can cause Lyme Disease), it will be tested.
Peel Public Health’s Vector-Borne
Disease Prevention Plan focuses on WNV and Lyme Disease. The plan identifies
Peel Public Health activities to test and monitor mosquito and tick populations
and to educate and protect residents.
As part of the plan, Peel Public
Health is currently on its third and final round of larviciding, which
eliminates mosquito larvae in road-side catch basins. Weekly testing of mosquitoes
will continue until the end of September.