Travel Vaccines

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Lyme Disease

(Lyme Borreliosis)

Fact

 The red, bullseye shaped rash (also known as erythema migrans) can develop in up to 90% of cases within 2-30 days (average is about 7 days) of the tick bite

Vector

Bite from an infected tick.


Lyme disease is endemic in Canada with 917 reported cases in 2015. The greatest risk occurs where ticks carrying the Lyme disease-causing agent are found. Surveillance in recent years indicates that established populations of black-legged ticks are spreading.


Symptoms

Red, circular, expanding rash (with or without central clearing), fatigue, fever, headache, mildly stiff neck, joint pain, and muscle pain


Severe case

Neurologic conditions (meningitis, radiating nerve pain, facial paralysis), cardiac abnormalities (inflammation of the heart muscle with atrioventricular heart block), arthritis

 

Prevention

As there are no vaccines available, basic precautions should be taken:
 ● Avoid tick habitats, such as long grass
 ● Use a recommend insect repellent containing               either Icaridin (20%) or DEET
 ● Minimize areas of exposed skin by wearing                    long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and closed shoes
 ● Carry a tick remover or fine-tooth tweezers 
 ● Carefully check every day for attached ticks
 ● If found, remove the tick by gently gripping it as close to the skin as possible and pulling away steadily without twisting or crushing the tick. Ensure the entire tick - including head and mouthparts - is removed
 ● Wash your skin with water and soap afterwards and apply an antiseptic cream around the bite.
 ● If possible, send any ticks that you have removed to a public health laboratory in your area or the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML)

 

Vaccine

There is currently no vaccine in Canada available for the prevention of Lyme disease.

 

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