Health Be careful with Lyme disease and West Nile virus

Be careful with Lyme disease and West Nile virus


With the summer season starting, the Minister of Health and Social Services wishes to remind Quebecers that we must remain vigilant in order to protect ourselves against infections transmitted by tick and mosquito bites during the next few months, including Lyme disease, West Nile virus and California serogroup viruses.

Lyme disease

As far as Lyme disease is concerned, it is caused by a bacterium transmitted by an infected tick which remains attached to the skin for several hours. The most common symptom is redness on the skin that causes little to no pain or itching. The latter appears in 60% to 80% of cases, generally between 3 and 30 days after the bite. These symptoms should be monitored to treat the person as quickly as possible.

To better protect yourself from this infection, there are several simple measures to adopt during outdoor activities, including:

  • preferably walk the trails and avoid tall grass;
  • use a mosquito repellent on exposed parts of the body, avoiding the face;
  • wear a hat, closed shoes and light-colored clothing, preferably light when it is hot;
  • put your sweater in your pants and the bottom of your pants in socks or boots;
  • ” examine pets, clothing and equipment as soon as possible after returning from the activity, then take a bath or shower, and inspect their body or that of the children;
  • if a tick has caught on the skin, remove it carefully, as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the activity.

West Nile Virus and California Serogroup Virus

WNV and SCV are infections transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Although they do not always show symptoms, they can cause serious health problems such as neurological damage. These diseases particularly affect people who work outside or who practice outdoor activities.

It is possible to protect yourself by simple personal and environmental protection measures. Among other things, we can:

  • use a DEET or icaridin-based mosquito repellant and wear long, light and light clothing, especially in hot weather;
  • install mosquito nets on the doors and windows of the house and outside shelters;
  • eliminate any source of stagnant water around its living environment, and properly maintain the pool and its filtration system;
  • install mosquito nets on rainwater tanks.

“With the coming summer, and beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to keep in mind the risks of catching these insect-borne infections during outdoor activities , recalls Yves Jalbert, Deputy Director General of Public Health Protection. People who engage in such activities should therefore act adequately to protect themselves, as well as their families, by adopting simple measures. These allow you to protect yourself effectively without depriving yourself of the pleasure of indulging in these activities during the summer. “

(Source: Department of Health and Social Services)


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