It’s that time of year again when everyone has to check and re-check themselves for blood-sucking ticks. Not all ticks carry lyme disease. But if bitten by an infected deer tick, the host (you!) first experiences flu-like symptoms that progresses to skin lesions, swelling of the joints and possible cardiac and rheumatic problems. If left untreated, widespread infection that causes pain and can lead to neurological problems will follow.
To determine whether or not a tick carries lyme disease, Alberta Health Services has a tick surveillance program to monitor which ticks carry the disease. To learn more about the programme, see http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/lyme-disease.html.
How does the programme work? Take any ticks that you find to your closest Alberta Health Services-Environmental Public Health Office for analysis. See http://www.health.alberta.ca/documents/Tick-Surveillance-AHS-EPH-Offices.pdf for a list of offices across the province.