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Lyme Disease

Q1. What is Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick.

Here are the areas in Quebec where one should be particularly watchful between the months of May and October: 
- a large part of Montérégie; 
- the south-western part of the Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec area; 
- the northern and western parts of the Eastern Townships.

Q2. How is Lyme disease transmitted?

Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. It is therefore important to avoid being bitten and, if bitten, to remove the tick as soon as it is noticed.

Q3. What are the symptoms?

Lyme disease symptoms usually appear between 3 and 30 days after the bite of an infected tick: 
- Rash caused by Lyme disease 
- Red patches caused by Lyme disease.

The most common symptom is reddening of the skin in the area bitten. This symptom is visible in 60 to 80% of infection cases. The rash spreads fast, reaching 5 cm in diameter and can be ring-shaped or in the form of a target. Sometimes the rash can appear on several parts of the body. Other symptoms may accompany the rash: 
- Fever 
- Fatigue 
- Headache 
- Neck stiffness 
- Muscle and joint pain

Q4. How can one protect oneself from ticks?

Ticks live mostly in forests, woods and tall grass. Using an insect repellent on exposed areas of the body, wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothing and shoes, as well as walking on the trails can protect against tick bites.

Q5. What should one do in case of a bite?

If you get bitten by a tick, you should immediately remove it. To find out how, see the page Removing a tick after a bite.

After any outdoor activity in a high-risk area, examine your whole body to be sure a tick has not attached itself to you.

Q6. What treatments are available?

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor, especially when there are early symptoms of the disease. The nature and duration of the treatment depends on the stage of infection and on symptoms.

If the disease is not treated, it can cause serious health problems in the weeks, months and years following the bite.

For more information, consult the Portail Santé Mieux-être at the following address: Lyme Disease