Lyme Disease

​I have been hearing a lot about Lyme disease in the media lately, also known as Lyme Borreliosis.
 
I thought I would do a little research on this disease.  It is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and is spread by deer ticks (blacklegged tick).
 
There is an overwhelming amount of information out there and it is worthwhile to become more familiar with this disease.
 
Canadian public health data shows an increase in reported cases of Lyme disease from 144 in 2009 to 992 in 2016.  The trend shows that people becoming infected is on the rise so it is important to be aware of the symptoms.
 
Early signs include:  rash (classic bull’s eye rash), fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.  Untreated, symptoms can be more severe and may include:  severe headaches, other skin rashes, facial paralysis, heart disorders, neurological disorders, and arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling.  In some cases, not everyone will see the early signs.
 
After being diagnosed, treatment is usually a 2 to 4 week course of antibiotics.  Depending on when a person is diagnosed, a longer or repeat treatment of antibiotics may be required.
 
The most effective way of protecting against Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites.  Here are some helpful hints that I found: Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts, tuck in your shirt, pull socks over pant legs, use a bug spray containing DEET, shower soon after being outdoors, and inspect yourself, children, and pets carefully for ticks.  There are also special tick removal tools that can be used if you find an attached tick, and early removal can prevent infection.
 
I hope that this information will help raise awareness for you and your family as we start into the summer.  I am one who really enjoys the outdoors and want to wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe summer when embarking on your outdoor adventures.
 
More info can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/lyme-disease.html
 
As always, be kind.
 
-Jody
Braeside Dental Centre
Lyme Disease

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