Mayor proclaims Lyme Disease Awareness Month

A proclamation declaring May Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the Town of Amherst was signed by Mayor David Kogon on Monday, April 29.

“It’s important to become educated about this disease and I urge all residents to learn about Lyme disease prevention,” Kogon said as he signed the proclamation.

The petition 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.Lyme Disease Proclamation B

“We appreciate the town’s assistance is elevating the discussion about Lyme and tick-borne diseases in order to ensure residents understand the importance of undertaking daily preventative measures when spending any time outdoors, or if you have pets that could bring ticks in from outside,” Lugar said. “It is important that everyone knows you have the potential of being bitten by a black-legged tick anywhere in the province, including your own yard.”

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 woods, 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

“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.”

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