The Simcoe Muskoka Regional Health Unit warns residents that they may be more at risk of deadly Lyme disease.
The health unit said that in the spring and autumn of Oro-Medonte, black-wing ticks were discovered in Amos's tract from the Simcoe County Forest.
Repeated occurrences of the species indicate that they may arise in the area and, as a result, may also increase the potential risk of ticks bearing the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.
It is not known whether ticks found in this area carry a Lyme disease, but it is important that people who spend time in wooded or grassy areas are aware of and take appropriate action.
Oro-Medonte, Orillia, as well as parts of Barrie, Tiny, Tay, Springwater and Severn, will be included in the estimated risk area on the Ontario disease outbreak of Lynx's public health illness map as a result of the discovery.
In autumn 2017, Awenda Provincial Park and surrounding communities were identified as an estimated risk area and included in the Ontario Public Health Risk Map in 2018.
"Due to the number of ticks that people have ever had in the community, ticking along the Amos tract was taking place because we wanted to better understand the potential exposure risks that the public might have in this area of the Simcoe region," said Dr. Charles Gardner, Health Officer for Health Department of Simcoe Muskoka District.
"Although ticks tend to be more active during spring and summer, they can also be active in late autumn and early winter when temperatures rise above freezing," said Gardner.
For this reason, people should continue to be careful when they are in wooded or grassy areas. Proper personal protection is key.
Ticks are found in wooded areas with long grass and litter litter.
If you spend time in the estimated risk area, the health care unit recommends wearing light trousers, long sleeves, closed boots, and packing your socks with a DEET or icaridin insect repellent and looking for your body tick, shower within two hours after you're in such areas , and checking your pet for ticks.
"We assume that black ticks will spread over time because our climate becomes more appropriate to promote the formation of ticks in our area." Gardner added.
In Ontario, only the bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease can only carry black ticks. Not all black tick ticks are infected with bacteria causing Lyme disease, so not all tick bites spread Lyme disease. If the tick is infected, it must be accompanied by at least 24 hours to cause Lyme disease. To reduce the risk, it is important to quickly remove the ticks.
For more information on Lyme disease and ticks that are transmitted to you, visit the Health Unit website at www.smhdu.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 on weekdays from 8: 30 to 16:30