Halton reminds travelers to exercise tick safety as it launches submit-a-tick program to keep Region safe

Halton reminds travelers to exercise tick safety as it launches submit-a-tick program to keep Region safe

Release Date: Jun 10, 2015

While the risk of tick-borne diseases in Halton Region is extremely low, Halton Region’s Health Department is reminding travelers to protect themselves and help gather data to ensure tick numbers remain low and help prevent Lyme disease from spreading.

“With an increasing amount of people travelling outside of Halton over the summer months, it’s important that people know how to protect themselves from Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Even though the number of ticks in Halton Region are currently low, our submit-a-tick program is another example of how we are responding to the changing needs of our community and taking proactive steps to ensure we’re able to keep our communities safe and healthy.”

Residents engaging in outdoor activities in wooded, brushy or tall grass areas and especially those travelling to Long Point Provincial Park, Pinery Provincial Park, Point Pelee Provincial Park, Rondeau Provincial Park, Rouge Valley, Turkey Point Provincial Park, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area and St. Lawrence Islands National Park should visit halton.ca/lymedisease to learn how to prevent tick bites.

“If Halton residents find a tick on themselves or their family members, there’s no need to panic as the risk of disease from ticks found in Halton is extremely low,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Our submit-a-tick program allows people to submit ticks taken from Halton residents to the Halton Region Health Department for testing to ensure the tick is disease free. With support from the community, this program will help us assess the risk of tick-borne diseases in Halton Region and take preventative actions if needed.”

The following are steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their families from tick bites:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric. Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks to keep ticks away from your bare skin.
  • Wear shoes that cover your entire foot, avoiding sandals or open shoes.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  • After finishing your outdoor activity, check your clothing and body for any ticks, especially the groin, armpits and hairline.
  • Check your pets regularly for ticks.

To learn more about how to prevent tick bites or how to participate in the submit-a-tick program, please visit halton.ca/lymedisease or dial 311.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.

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Media Contact:
Heather Burnett
Communications Specialist
Policy Integration & Communications
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7763
1-866-442-5866, ext. 7763
heather.burnett@halton.ca