July 07, 2012
Blacklegged ticks that can transmit Lyme disease are in Ontario, and in more areas than previously thought. Workers who work in certain outdoor areas are at risk for tick bites and developing Lyme disease, and should protect themselves.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. In Ontario only bites by the blacklegged ticks (formerly called deer ticks) can spread the disease. Not all blacklegged ticks are infected with the bacteria. These ticks are more commonly found in wooded areas or tall grasslands and in provincial and national parks along the north shores of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.
Occupations at risk include outdoor workers especially those in southern Ontario who may work in wooded, bushy areas or in tall grasses such as workers in park and wildlife management, ground keepers, loggers, construction workers, farmers, fishers, camp counsellors, landscape workers, biologists, veterinarians, silviculture workers and tree planters.