With spring temperatures quickly approaching and summer right behind it, it's time for Quebecers to prepare for all the insects and critters we've been managing to avoid these past few months.
It's the one thing we can all agree we love about winter: all the dangerous or disgusting insects across the province during every other season seem to disappear as the temperature drops.
Well, that reality is over, as one of the most dangerous critters is once again returning, and it's been confirmed that the disease you can get from one of their bites is on the rise too. You might just want to be careful next time you're outside, as Lyme disease from tick bites is on the rise in Quebec.
TL;DR In recent years Lyme disease has increased by 13% due to warming conditions and ticks being able to survive underneath snow. Canadian medical experts say the antibiotics currently used to fight the disease do more harm than good, comparable to a placebo. Tick activity picks up from mid- March to May. More details below.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says that cases of Lyme disease in the country have increased by 13% from 2009 to 2017. Most of the confirmed cases of the disease occurred in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint aches and rashes. Because these symptoms are fairly common in many other illnesses, it's difficult to actually diagnose someone with Lyme.
One of the biggest concerns is that although ticks are being found in regions never discovered before, and are becoming more active during all seasons of the year, the current antibiotic treatments being given to people suffering from Lyme disease are actually doing more harm than good.
Canadian medical experts say that the antibiotics are no more beneficial than a placebo, and can even cause health conditions including allergic reactions, C. difficile infections and infections from intravenous catheters.
Warming weather conditions in Quebec over the years have dramatically increased the size of a ticks habitat, and have also made it easier for them to survive under the snow during the winter months.
So, did the dangerous insects really leave us alone this winter? With tick activity picking up around mid- March to May, now is a better time than ever to be on high alert.
Stay tuned for more information on the dangers of ticks and Lyme disease in Quebec.