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May declared Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the Town of Amherst

May has been proclaimed Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the Town of Amherst.

“It’s important to become educated about this disease,” Mayor David Kogon said on April 30, 2021, as he signed the proclamation on behalf of Amherst town council.

 “I urge all residents to learn about Lyme disease prevention.”Lyme disease awareness 1 B

The proclamation noted Lyme disease is a serious illness caused by the bite of a black-legged tick that is infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

Donna Lugar, Nova Scotia’s representative at the non-profit Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, welcomed the town’s proclamation.

“We appreciate the town’s assistance in elevating the discussion about Lyme and tick-borne diseases,” Lugar said. “Although ticks can be active at any time of the year when temperatures permit, they are now becoming more active. When spending any time outdoors, please remember to undertake preventative measures and ensure that you are doing your daily tick checks.”

She said 830 cases of Lyme disease were reported in the province in 2019, the last year data is available, an increase of 376 cases over the year before when 454 cases were reported. The statistics, she added, can be seen at:

“It is important that everyone know they have the potential of being bitten by a black-legged tick anywhere in the province, including your own yard,” Lugar said.

She indicated there were several preventative measures one can take to prevent getting the disease, such as:

  • taking a lint roller, or two-sided sticky tape, with you to occasionally run over your clothes and body to pick up any unattached ticks,
  • frequently brushing yourself off and running your hands through your hair,
  • wear light-coloured clothing in an effort to see any ticks,
  • purchase clothing treated with permethrin if spending time in the wodsw, high brush, etc.,
  • wear a tick repellent (follow directions and, if a natural product, apply frequently),
  • taking a shower shortly after coming inside and taking that opportunity to perform a tick check,
  • tossing your clothes in the dryer at high heat for approximately 20 minutes to kill any ticks that may be on your clothing, 
  • wear rubber boots while working in the yard,
  • minimize the ability of ticks getting to your skin by tucking your pants in your socks, wearing long sleeves and tucking your shirt in your pants, and
  • know how to properly remove a tick.

Lugar said it was also important for people to know the symptoms of Lyme disease, which she said could be found on the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation website at:

“Ticks are not going anywhere, anytime soon,” Lugar said. “Therefore, we need to learn to live with them, rather than fear them. Getting outside is an important step to good health and you should not fear going outside. Make preventative measures a part of your daily routine, just like you do sunscreen.”

For more information, go to: