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Rouge Valley a hotspot for Lyme disease, public health warns

Last Updated Aug 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm EDT

This March 2002 file photo shows a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, R.I. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Victoria Arocho

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is warning the public that the Rouge Valley area is a Lyme disease hotspot.

The black-legged tick is the only species of ticks in Ontario that can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Associate medical officer of health Dr. Christine Navarro said the disease is preventable.

“If people do spend time outdoors and they find a tick on themselves, if it’s been there for more than 24 hours they should remove it promptly and see their physicians,” she said. “They may prescribe antibiotics that can help prevent that infection.”

Early symptoms usually occur with one or two weeks of being bitten and include fever and chills, and a bull’s-eye rash.

Navarro said the ticks have been found in the Rouge Valley, Highland Creek Community Park, Morningside Park and Algonquin Island.

TPH has also provided local doctors with information on how to diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

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