Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases Such as Lyme Disease and Powassan Virus by Taking Protective Measures

provided by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases Such as Lyme Disease and Powassan Virus by Taking Protective Measures

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is cautioning residents that populations of black legged ticks, which can spread Lyme disease, Powassan virus and other tick-borne diseases to humans, are increasing in locations across the five eastern counties. The EOHU region is a known risk area, where blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) have been identified and where individuals have the potential to come into contact with infected ticks.

Ticks carrying Lyme disease have been present in the area for a number of years. Powassan virus has also recently been identified in a blacklegged tick in the EOHU region. In addition, anaplasmosis and babesiosis are diseases that have been detected in Ontario and can be transmitted by blacklegged ticks. While these diseases are less common than Lyme disease, they also have the potential to cause serious illness. Most cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis can be treated successfully with medication, however there is currently no treatment for Powassan virus.

“Due to our mild winter, the tick season has started earlier this year, and ticks are already very active,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “With Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases on the rise in Ontario, it’s very important to take precautions to prevent tick bites. I encourage everyone to visit to learn how to protect yourself and those you care for.” He adds that residents should contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist if they find a tick that’s been attached to their skin for at least 24 hours, or if they develop flu-like symptoms or an unusual rash in the days or weeks following a tick bite.

Ticks are most active in the spring and summer months but can be found at any time of the year when the temperature is above freezing, usually in woodlands, tall grasses and bushes in both rural and urban areas. There are measures you can take to discourage the presence of ticks around your home and to keep ticks off you, your family and your pets.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from tick-borne diseases, as well as what to do if you’ve been bitten by a tick, visit

Share this article