Extreme Heatwaves In Canada Are Causing A Massive Spike In Lyme Disease - MTL Blog

Extreme Heatwaves In Canada Are Causing A Massive Spike In Lyme Disease

This summer just needs to be over!

This Summer heatwaves have been super abundant in Eastern Canada. In case you didn't know, the heatwave that took over the province last month caused the death of over 50 people, and sent many others to the ER.

READ ALSO: VIA Rail Is Having A Crazy Sale Every Week This Summer That You Have To Take Advantage Of Before It's Gone

On a larger scale, what we're ultimately experiencing is climate change. The North is getting a lot hotter, ice is melting a lot faster, winter will be much less harsh than years prior, and summer will be excruciatingly painful. At it's worst you're probably thinking the rest of the month will be pretty hot and we might actually have a Winter that won't freeze over the city. It doesn't sound too bad, right?

Well, there are some pretty big side effects to the change in weather within the country. Not only are people getting sick from heat stroke and the sun, but lyme disease is quickly becoming a really big issue for everyone not only province-wide, but in all of Canada.

As our temperatures rise in Canada more habitats become available for the black-legged ticks that carry lyme disease. The problem is getting so bad that scientists believe soon enough 80% of Canadians will live in areas that are swarming with ticks. Another study concludes that at least 20% of all ticks carry the actual disease.  

This summer alone there's been hundreds of reports across the country of people finding dozens of ticks on their pets and themselves, with an increased number of those tick bites leading to the debilitating disease. Ticks come out when the season is super warm and can live incredibly long lives when temperatures are high, making Quebec the ultimate tick hotspot.

In 2017, 329 cases of lyme disease were reported in Quebec alone, over 150 more reports than the prior year. This year will be even worse. As the Summers get longer and hotter expect to see a massive spike in spreading of the disease. As for how to avoid a tick bite, you're most likely to be bit when you travel to rural or forested areas. Ticks live in tall grass and dead leaves, so you may want to avoid those areas as much as possible. 

If you think you've been bitten by a tick this Summer, seek medical attention immediately. In some cases if a bite has been noticed right away, preventative treatment can be taken to avoid getting the horrible disease. 

The rest of the Summer in Quebec doesn't look too good, as heatwaves are expected for the rest of August. At least with this weather as well as the tick epidemic you have even more reason to binge Netflix series' and stay safe indoors.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3

 

 

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Sarah Lombardo