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Fight the Bite against Vector-borne diseases

Young girl in field picking flowers

As the weather starts to get warmer, it’s time to think about spending time outside and enjoying all that York Region has to offer – from lush forests to winding bike trails, fun parks, outdoor pools and shopping areas. Pull out your summer clothes, hats, sunscreen and… bug spray. Mosquitos and ticks are not just annoying, they can also carry dangerous diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

In an effort to keep residents safe, York Region will kick off its 2018 vector-borne disease program this May to limit the impact of West Nile virus and Lyme disease activity throughout the Region. Vector-Borne diseases are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito or tick. Ontario Public Health units deliver disease management strategies in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Ontario Public Health Standards.

In 2016/2017, there were significantly more cases of Lyme disease reported in York Region compared to previous years. This can be attributed to higher temperatures, precipitation, climate change and expanded risk areas throughout the Region.

Prevention is the best defense against West Nile virus and Lyme disease. If you plan on heading outdoors this summer, follow these tips to fight the bite:

  • Cover up with light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Clean up standing water around your home where mosquitoes like to breed (flower pots, old tires, tin cans, pool covers, etc.)
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin
  • Check yourself and your children for ticks
  • Remove attached ticks as quickly as possible

For more information on vector-borne diseases, contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-512-6228. More information is available at york.ca/westnile and york.ca/lymedisease



Fight the bite; York Region In 2016/2017, there were significantly more cases of Lyme disease reported in York Region compared to previous years. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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