June 22, 2022
The Department of Health would like to remind the Outaouais population that ticks that can transmit Lyme disease have been present in the Outaouais for a number of years and that their numbers are increasing. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The tick lives in vegetation, mainly in forests and tall grass.
After analyzing tick surveillance data for 2021, The town of Gatineau is now recognized as an endemic area for Lyme disease. The city of Gatineau joins the areas of Pontiac and Collines-de-l’Outaouais, which are areas where ticks can become infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
However, the risk also exists in the other communities of the Outaouais. We must remain vigilant in our outdoor activities.
Lyme disease can have serious consequences for some people’s health and quality of life if not treated in time. Therefore, it is important to take simple and effective preventive measures:
- Between May and November during outdoor, professional or leisure activities in forested or semi-forested areas:
- Wear a hat, closed-toe shoes, and long clothing.
- Tuck your sweater into your pants and tuck the hem into your socks or boots.
- Use a DEET or Icaridin-based mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- When hiking, preferably walk on trails and avoid tall grass
- To reduce the presence of ticks in your area:
- Cut tall grass and brush around your home and mow your lawn, especially near children’s playgrounds.
- Remove dead leaves, brush and weeds from the lawn and around the edges of the log store and shed.
- Lay paths (at least 3 meters wide) of wood chips or gravel between wooded areas and lawns, patios and playgrounds.
- When returning from an outdoor activity in a wooded or semi-wooded area, examine your gear, your pet, and your entire body. Use bath time to examine your children. If a tick is attached to a person’s skin, remove it with eyebrow tweezers and store in a tightly closed container. Don’t forget to write down the date and place of your discharge, this information could be useful later when you consult a doctor.
- If you have been bitten by a tick in a municipality in the Pontiac or Collines-de-l’Outaouais sector, call Info-Santé at 811 to check if you are entitled to preventive treatment. You can also contact your pharmacist who can assess if you need to prescribe preventive treatment if you have been bitten in these areas.
- If symptoms such as redness at the bite site, fever, headache, fatigue and neck stiffness are observed in the month after a bite, see a doctor and remember to bring your tick!
- To find out how to remove a tick or for more information: https://cisss-outaouais.gouv.qc.ca/sante-publique/prevention-des- Maladies-infectieuses-et-transmissibles/autres- Maladies-infectieuses/ Maladie -de -lyme/
- Lyme disease (also available in French): https://www.quebec.ca/sante/problems-de-sante/az/ Maladie-de-lyme/
- Removing a tick in case of a bite (also available in French): https://www.quebec.ca/sante/conseils-et-prevention/sante-et-environnement/retrait-de-tique-en-cas-stitching/
Take full advantage of the beautiful summer season and protect yourself!
For more informations :
The media relations department
Outaouais Integrated Health and Social Services Centre
Phone: 819 966-6583