Ticks No Longer Accepted at Peterborough Public Health

Written by Comms Team, September 8, 2021

Insect Identification Now Widely Available Through E-Tick Website

Peterborough Public Health announced today that it will no longer be accepting tick submissions from the public, effective immediately. This is because the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) will no longer be accepting black-legged tick submissions for testing effective September 20, 2021.

The testing originally began to monitor this tick species and the accompanying presence of the Lyme Disease microbe Borrelia burgdorferi in Canada. This passive surveillance has confirmed the presence of ticks in many areas within Ontario, including the Peterborough area. Moving forward, NML will now allocate its present resources to sustainably support the diagnostic testing of blacklegged ticks collected through active surveillance. This program provides data to monitor changes in the prevalence of infection of tick-borne pathogens and to detect novel ones. This approach will result in a surveillance program that will provide critically important data for existing and emerging tick-borne diseases in a timely manner. In the meantime, passive tick surveillance programs can be effectively supported by citizen science-based initiatives, such as www.etick.ca, which leverage digital technologies to submit images for identification rather than specimens.

People living in the Peterborough area are reminded to remain vigilant and protect themselves and others from ticks as there have been several local human cases of Lyme disease confirmed this year.

The first line of defense against tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease remains preventative measures. When visiting wooded areas or areas with tall grasses or bushes residents are reminded to protect themselves by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts use bug spray that contains DEET, and to physically check yourself, children and pets for ticks after being outdoors. Anyone who finds a tick on their person are encouraged to visit www.etick.ca for species identification. Residents can follow up with their primary care provider if necessary as only blacklegged ticks (a.k.a. deer ticks) are known to carry Lyme Disease in Ontario.

For more information, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and search for “Lyme disease”.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391