News Release Archive

Outdoor enthusiasts heading to southwestern Nova Scotia this
summer should take simple precautions to avoid being bitten by

Ticks are tiny brown or black bugs which feed on blood.
Occasionally, ticks will bite humans instead of animals. Most
tick bites don't lead to disease, but some may.

A disease that can be transmitted by ticks is called lyme
disease. There have been no cases of lyme disease in Nova Scotia,
and the chances of a tick passing the disease along are very
small. However, the ticks that may cause the disease have been
found in southwestern Nova Scotia.

If anyone is bitten by a tick that passes along lyme disease, a
red patch or rash will likely develop in the area of the bite
within three to 30 days. Other symptoms include fever, headache,
tiredness, stiff neck or soreness all over and pain or swelling
in the joints. If the bite is untreated, pain and swelling in the
knees may occur weeks to years following the bite.

To protect against ticks, the following simple precautions are

- Walk on cleared trails;

- Wear light colored clothing, tuck in shirt and tuck pants into
  boots or socks;

- Use insect repellant on clothing and uncovered skin, reapply as

- Check clothing and scalp when leaving an area where ticks may

- Regularly check household pets that roam in tall grass and
  wooded areas.

Ticks will burrow part way into the skin, bite and then drop off.
When the tick's feeding mouth is under the skin, the back part
will stick out.

If a tick is found on the skin or scalp, remove the tick
immediately using the following method:

- Gently take hold of the tick as close to the skin as possible
  using tweezers or forceps;

- Carefully lift the tick straight off the skin without squeezing
  or jerking, try to make sure all of tick is removed;

- Clean the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol once the
  tick has been removed, use soap and water to wash hands;

- If necessary, ask the family doctor for advice.


NOTE TO EDITORS: A fact sheet on lyme disease is available by
calling Lori MacLean or by calling Communications Nova Scotia,
902-424-4492 or toll free 1-800-670-4357.

Contact: Lori MacLean  902-424-5025

trp                     June 11, 1996 - 10:25 a.m.