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Santé Montréal

Lyme Disease

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Description

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that can be transmitted by the bite of certain species of ticks. Lyme disease is treatable, but it can cause serious symptoms in humans and has been found in parts of Europe, Asia and North America.

Ticks become infected when they feed on the blood of mice, squirrels, birds and other small animals that can be carriers of the bacteria. The ticks can then transmit the bacteria to humans. 

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

  • Lyme disease is an emerging problem in Québec.
  • Climate changes are creating favourable conditions in Québec for the ticks that can carry the disease. 
  • In Canada, the number of places where infected ticks have been found is increasing.
  • Lyme disease is the most common arthropod-transmitted disease in the United States and Europe. 
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Symptoms

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When to Consult

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Complications

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Protection and prevention

Anyone who is in an area infested by ticks carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria can catch Lyme disease. The ticks are mostly found in wooded areas and tall grass.

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  • Avoid places where there are ticks.
  • Stick to trails rather than walk through tall grass where there may be ticks.
  • Use a DEET-based insect repellent and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Wear a hat, closed shoes or boots and pale-coloured long pants and shirts that make it easier to see ticks.
  • After being out in the woods, thoroughly check your own body and the bodies of any accompanying children and pets; quickly remove any ticks you find (ideally, within 24 hours) (recommended method for removing ticks). (in French only)
  • If you've been bitten by a tick, call Info-Santé at 811 or see a doctor.
  • In Montréal, community pharmacists can now provide antibiotics to people bitten by ticks that may be infected, but under certain conditions. Consult your pharmacist.
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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

Call Info-Santé at 811 or see a doctor. 

More information :

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Treatment

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2020.08.11