Lyme desease outbreak in Alberta (Lyme origines = Plum Island Animal Disease Center)
Five ticks found on pets in the Edmonton and Calgary areas have tested positive for the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.
Borrielia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, was detected in 13 ticks that were submitted for testing from around the province in 2010.
ARD tick surveillance has identified over 25 ticks that carried the Lyme disease bacteria since 2007.
No human cases have been found in Alberta so far this year.
Lyme disease appears as a circular, red rash and can bring on fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and swollen lymph glands.
In some cases, the disease can cause neurological and muscular problems months after infection.
"Lyme disease can be a serious condition if it's not detected early and is left untreated," said Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health. "Your best defence against Lyme disease is prevention. Everyone should use insect repellent and cover up when walking in tall grass, woods or brush to avoid being bitten by ticks."
There were 20 cases of human Lyme disease reported in Alberta from 1989 to 2008. Public health officials have not been able to confirm that any of the infections were acquired in Alberta.