Lyme Disease and Tick Season
Yes, our local ticks can carry Lyme disease, and we can pick up ticks while golfing, gardening, hiking, biking … anything that takes us outdoors, really. Lyme disease is endemic in southern BC, and the disease can cause long-term damage including arthritis and neurological problems, so it’s worthwhile to do regular tick checks — and to see a doctor if you develop any symptoms after a tick bite.
Symptoms of Lyme disease can include one or a combination of the following with varying degrees of severity:
- fever or chills
- spasms or weakness
- numbness or tingling
- swollen lymph nodes
- skin rash
Additional symptoms can include:
- cognitive dysfunction (brain fog) or dizziness
- nervous system disorders
- arthritis/arthritic symptoms (muscle and joint pain)
- abnormal heartbeat
Untreated, symptoms can last months to years. They can include recurring arthritis (muscle and joint pain), nervous system and/or neurological problems. Symptoms can also include numbness and/or paralysis (inability to move parts of the body). Although not common, fatalities from Lyme disease have been reported.
After being outdoors, remove and examine your clothing carefully, examine your body — especially the areas that are warmer and more moist than others, such as armpits and groin –and run a fine-toothed comb through your hair to dislodge any unwanted passengers. Ticks tend to climb upward, and often explore their host for a few hours before biting.