huronfringefest

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TICK TALK

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“Is the risk of Lyme disease increasing in Ontario?”

The long holiday weekend marks the beginning of camping season across Ontario. But it also signals the start of tick season says Dr. Andrew Peregrine, of the Ontario Veterinary College. Ticks carry Lyme disease and that’s a concern.* Lyme disease is an infection that primarily occurs in wildlife. However, infections also occur in people.

On Thursday. June 2, at 7:15 PM Dr. Peregrine will review current information on the importance of Lyme disease in wildlife and people across Ontario. Practices to prevent infection in people and pets will also be discussed.

Deer ticks carry Lyme disease and are more common in southern Ontario than in the north and northwest.

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Peregrine said even just travelling in hot spots in southern Ontario can “dramatically” increase your risk for Lyme disease and bringing ticks home. Many hikers and campers still get quite concerned when they find a tick on their body – or on a pet. Dr. Peregrine recommends speaking with a vet about vaccinations before taking a dog for a walk or hike where ticks may be found.

Dr. Peregrine says the other way to protect yourself and your pet from ticks is to do a thorough tick check after being outside.

Suggested ways to protect yourself from ticks:

  • Avoid places with long grasses.
  • If you are hiking or walking, stay in the centre of the trail.
  • Wear light coloured clothing to make it easier to find the ticks.
  • Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts that fit tightly around your wrists and long pants tucked into your socks.
  • Use an insect repellant with DEET.
  • Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks after being outdoors. Check before you go into your house. Check head to toe. Check underneath your clothes, next to your skin.
  • Have a hot shower after checking for ticks.
  • Wash your clothes with hot water and use the hottest setting on your dryer to kill any ticks that you may have missed.

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Andrew S. Peregrine, BVMS, PhD, DVM, DipEVPC, DipACVM

Andrew Peregrine graduated in 1984 from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Scotland. Subsequently, he received a PhD from the same University for work on a parasitic disease of cattle in Africa. From 1987 to 1997, Andrew worked at the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, Kenya, where he continued this research. Since 1997 he has worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, where he teaches clinical parasitology to DVM students. Over the last 10 years he has developed a particular interest in parasitic infections of animals that also infect people. As a result, he is currently carrying out research in this area in both wildlife and domestic animal species. He is also conducting work to improve control of parasitic infections in sheep.

*With files from CBC News, Thunder Bay interview.

 Register now for TICK TALK (B7) on Thursday. June 2, at 7:15 PM  www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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Registration inquiries: birdfest@rogers.com or 519-389-6231

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

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