Local health units are no longer accepting black-legged ticks from the public after a decision made by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML)’s to stop testing them as of Sept. 20.
The Winnipeg-based NML will now focus its resources on supporting diagnostic testing of ticks collected through active surveillance, Peterborough Public Health stated in a media release issued Sept. 8.
This program provides data to keep tabs on infectious tick-borne pathogens.
The approach is expected to provide critically important, timely information about existing and emerging tick-borne diseases, officials stated.
Public Health Ontario maintains an estimated risk areas map, based on surveillance. Other science-based initiatives continue, including the eTick app available at www.etick.ca, through which images of ticks can be submitted for identification.
Citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and protect themselves and others from ticks, with several cases of Lyme disease confirmed this year. Black-legged ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the microbe that causes the infection.
For more on ticks and tick safety, visit https://oodmag.com/?s=ticks