• John Jantak

Senneville advises residents to be aware of ticks when visiting wooded areas


PHOTO COURTESY MRC VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES

The Village of Senneville is advising residents to take adequate precautions when visiting the Morgan Arboretum in neighbouring Ste. Anne de Bellevue to avoid being bitten by the Black Legged Tick which can transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals.

Mayor Jane Guest issued the public advisory during the Monday evening council meeting on June 22 saying there have been two reported two cases of Lyme disease from tick bites in persons who recently visited local forested areas.

The village has also informed residents about the situation through notices that were delivered to homeowners within the past two weeks. She stressed that the warning was not meant to instill any kind of panic or that citizens should avoid enjoying outdoor activities in local woodland areas. The advisory is meant to make people aware of the situation so they take the necessary precautions when venturing along the trails to avoid being bitten.

“We sent out a notice last week to all our citizens and we’ll probably do it again this week just because it was brought to our attention that it is tick season and there have been local sightings,” Guest told Your Local Journal after the meeting. “It’s not alarmist. It’s just a precaution to make people aware that it’s a nasty bite and you have to get treatment right away. If you don’t, you could end up getting very sick. People use the local trails a lot so we just want them to be careful,” said Guest.

The number of people being bitten by the Black Legged Tick, also known as the Deer Tick, has steadily increased throughout southern Quebec, particularly in certain parts of the Monteregie including Hudson and St. Lazare, as the insect continues to gain a stronger foothold throughout the region each year. The tick is also becoming endemic in the heavily wooded areas along the westernmost regions on the Island of Montreal including Senneville and Ste. Anne.

The main symptom that commonly appears usually within three to 30 days after being bitten is reddening of the skin around the bite. Accompanying symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches, neck stiff ness, and muscle and joint pain. If left untreated, Lyme disease may cause long-term heart, joint and neurological problems that can appear weeks, months or even years after being bitten by an infected tick. The Quebec Ministry of Health reported on its website that 63 cases of Lyme disease were recorded throughout the province in 2014. The most effective precautions people should take is to cover as much exposed skin as possible by wearing pants, long-sleeved shirts and a head covering such as a hat or cap. An insect repellent should also be used on exposed skin.

People should stay on the nature trails and avoid venturing into the woods because the tick can easily latch onto clothing from adjacent brush. Guest also recommends people regularly check their pets to make sure they haven’t been affected by ticks. “It’s the same thing, you have to be very careful with your pets too,” said Guest. “You have to check them every time you come in from the woods and meadows to make sure they don’t have ticks on them. It’s just another precaution that people should take.” More information about Lyme disease can be found at the Ministry of Health website http://sante.gouv. qc.ca/en/problemes-de-sante/maladie- de-lyme/.

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