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Lyme Disease Awareness Forum set for June 22

Lyme Disease Awareness Forum set for June 22

Caused by tiny black-legged ticks, Lyme Disease can be hard to diagnose.

Caused by tiny black-legged
ticks, Lyme Disease can be
hard to diagnose.

Tick, tick, tick – Lyme disease can be a time bomb

In response to concerns by area residents, the Sunshine Coast’s first Lyme Disease Awareness Forum will examine causes, control and preventive measures on Sunday, June 22 at the Sechelt Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, 5591 Wharf Street from 2 – 4 p.m.

Guest speakers Gwen Barlee, Policy Director for The Wilderness Committee in Vancouver, and Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation Director David Cubbereley will offer advice and expertise.

Lyme Disease is caused by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks – tiny insects that range in size from poppy seed to pea (depending on their age and whether it has fed recently). Found in forested and overgrown areas, the expanding population of ticks appears to be moving into more settled surroundings.

Symptoms can vary from person to person with varying degrees of severity; some people may have no symptoms at all, others may not experience them until weeks after the bite. This makes Lyme Disease difficult to diagnose, but early diagnosis is key to successful treatment. Anyone bitten by a tick should inform their health professional. Symptoms can include one or a combination of fatigue, fever or chills, headache, numbness or tingling, swollen lymph nodes, rash, ‘brain fog’ or dizziness, muscle and joint pain similar to arthritis, abnormal heartbeat, or nervous system disorders.

Untreated, symptoms can last months to years and include recurring arthritis, neurological problems, numbness and/or paralysis.

To protect against ticks when venturing into forests or overgrown areas, wear closed-toe shoes, light-coloured longsleeved shirts and pants; pull socks over pant legs; shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks; and do a daily check for ticks on self, children and pets.

Maps of areas with high populations of ticks may be found at


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