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Blacklegged ticks found in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Vaughan

Residents urged to take precautions year round, as ticks active when temperatures rise above 0 C in winter
Oct. 24, 2017
By Ali Raza

Take precautions before you hike to avoid a tick bite.

Blacklegged ticks have been found in Whitchurch-Stouffville and Vaughan during York Region Public Health's routine active tick surveillance.

Ticks were detected in the York Regional Forest North Tract and Boyd and Kortright conservation areas. They have been sent to the National Microbiology Lab to determine if they are carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Tests look for bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, but not all blacklegged ticks carry it. An infected tick is more likely to spread the infection after being attached to the host for 24 hours or more. Lyme disease does not spread from human to human.

As a result, residents have little to worry about, the region says.

In Ontario, only the blacklegged tick can transmit the bacteria.

"Residents are reminded to protect themselves from blacklegged ticks year round," said medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji.

Blacklegged ticks are present in wooded and brushy areas year-round, so the discovery of ticks is expected.

The region recommends these safety tips when heading outdoors in forested areas:

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