The Middlesex County and Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and the Aylmer District Stakeholder Committee is reminding hunters, anglers and trail users of the presence of Rabies and Lyme disease in Middlesex and Elgin County.
Rabies is a virus that can infect any mammal, including humans. Symptoms include; partial paralysis, aggressiveness, drooling, dirty fur or hair, thin and confused behaviour. If you have had contact with a rabies infected animal, please call the Rabies Information Line at 1-888-574-6656. A series of vaccinations and treatment with rabies antibodies can prevent infection in humans in most cases if administered soon after exposure.
Lyme disease is a potentially serious infection that you can get if bitten by an infected black legged (deer) tick. Avoid being bitten by using DEET around neck, wrists, waist and ankles. Avoid tall grass and bushes. Symptoms include; rash, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches and joint pains, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, spasms, numbness or tingling and facial paralysis. Contact your local health unit or health care professional if you experience any of these symptoms. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a progressive, fatal disease of the central nervous system that attacks cervids (e.g. deer, moose, elk and caribou). Symptoms include; uncoordinated movements, drooping head, excessive thirst, emaciated. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) tests wild deer in Ontario annually – to date, all tests have been negative. If you observe a sick deer, please report the observations to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at 1-866-673-4781.
The OPP and the Aylmer District Stakeholder Committee is reminding you to keep yourself protected when frequenting forested and fielded areas where there is an increased potential to come in contact with these diseases.