Ticks and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be transmitted by a bite from an infected tick. In Montérégie, the number of infected persons is gradually rising. In 2010, only 4 cases of Lyme disease were confirmed in the area, while more than 100 cases were recorded in 2017. Tick populations are now established in the region. They are found mainly in forests, woodlands and tall grass.

How to protect yourself

The risk of getting bitten is higher between June and August, but you must stay vigilant from spring to fall. Most likely to be exposed to ticks are adults and kids doing outdoor activities in wooded areas (hiking or cycling, cutting and gathering wood, camping, hunting and gardening close to woodland). Some workers (road workers, summer camp staff) are also more exposed to ticks.

Some simple prevention procedures can protect you from tick bites in at-risk locations

  • Wear long pants, closed shoes and socks, and apply DEET repellent according to the instructions on the product label.
  • Take a shower after returning home.
  • Inspect your skin for ticks and remove them as soon as possible, because the risk of transmission is very low for 24 hours and increases with time.
  • Call Info-santé at 8-1-1 if you were bitten by a tick. A medical assessment might be recommended in order to determine whether an antibiotic is required  to prevent the development of Lyme disease.
  • Consult a physician if you have symptoms (fever, headache, fatigue or rash of at least 5 cm) within 30 days of a tick bite. Antibiotics are effective in treating the disease.
  • Avoid ticks near your home by regularly cutting the lawn, collecting leaves and debris, and creating a space between activity/play areas and wooded areas.

For more information: www.maladiedelymemonteregie.com