It’s a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors, but we need to be aware and careful in areas where there may be black-legged ticks (also called deer ticks). These are very small ticks – sometimes as small as the period at the end of this sentence. These ticks can carry the germ that causes a bacterial infection called Lyme disease. Deer ticks are found across Nova Scotia, so it’s important to be vigilant and take simple preventative measures.
Follow these steps to help protect against ticks, especially in grassy, wooded or shrub covered areas:
Apply insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin to exposed skin and clothes. Follow directions on the package carefully.
Wear light colored long sleeved shirts and pants, closed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks.
Keep lawns mowed short.
Put playground equipment in sunny, dry places away from wooded areas, yard edges, and trees.
Check your whole body for ticks and, when possible, take a bath or shower within two hours of coming indoors. This makes it easier to find ticks and washes away loose ones.
If you find ticks, here’s how to remove them safely:
Carefully grasp the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
Gently and slowly pull the tick straight out. Do not jerk, twist or squeeze it.
Clean and disinfect the site with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.
Dispose of the tick in a sealed plastic bag and put in the garbage.
Do not burn, squeeze or coax a tick’s mouth parts from your skin using other methods.
The first symptom of Lyme disease is usually a rash that may look like a bull’s eye target near the tick bite. The rash can appear anywhere from 3-30 days after the bite. Symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, stiff neck, pain and swelling in the joints and general body aches and pains may develop. Symptoms may appear over a period of months. If symptoms appear, it is very important to contact a health care provider. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.
To access a great educational video for kids about how to protect against tick bites, and to learn more about Lyme disease and black-legged ticks, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/hpp/cdpc/lyme.asp – or call your local Public Health office at 902.543.0850.
KINGS COUNTY: A cold front will move over New Brunswick tonight and remain stationary for the next 24 to 36 hours. Rain will begin over northern Nova Scotia Wednesday afternoon and spread southward. The rain will intensify Wednesday evening giving heavy downpours Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Rainfall amounts of 50 to 90 millimetres can be expected over the Valley stretching north to the Minas Basin. The rain will ease in intensity on Thursday and move eastward as the cold front moves towards Newfoundland. [Environment Canada] While there is some uncertainty with respect to the exact timing and location of the highest rainfall, several models indicate total amounts in excess of 100 millimetres are possible for parts of the province. Therefore rainfall warnings may be extended.
The Kings REMO wishes to advise:
Where rainfall exceeds 50 mm
• There is a risk of localized flooding and possibly flash flooding in the heavy downpours with this rainfall event.
• Use caution if you are travelling during these intense and heavy downpours as hydroplaning could be a hazard.
• Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads at catch basins and drainage ditches.
Where rainfall approaches or exceeds 90 mm
• Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible, flooding roads and low lying properties.
• Watch for and expect washouts near rivers and creeks where they pass under roads through culverts and small wood bridge structures.
• Watch for and expect roadside ditches to undergo extreme erosion of the gravel shoulders and partial collapse of parts of the road surface causing local roads to become dangerous or impassable in extreme cases.
When water over a road exceeds 12 inches depth, small cars may float and become trapped in fast moving water. DO NOT attempt crossing flooded roadways.
Monitor local media and Environment Canada for updates to this potentially serious rain event.
PLEASE REPORT ANY FLOODING OR ROAD WASHOUTS TO KINGS REMO at 670-0910
KINGS COUNTY: Emergency management officials are advising residents in the Kings County Region to be prepared for the hurricane and tropical storm season which officially runs from June to November.
The most important preparation is to have a 72 hour kit on hand. 72 hour kits contain essential items needed by a family or household in an emergency. A detailed fact sheet about the kits can be found here.
Kings REMO has also prepared a fact sheet with information specific to hurricanes and tropical storms. The sheet details what to expect and what to do if a watch or warning is issued. The fact sheet can be found here.
Further public safety information can be found by visiting the Kings REMO site or through Public Safety Canada.