It’s Tick Season in the Lakeland

Health Tips presented by Tellier Guardian Pharmacy: May 18th, 2017

Lyme disease & tick surveillance in Alberta

Ticks are small spider-like animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. While most ticks don’t cause serious health problems, it’s important to remove a tick immediately to avoid potential infection or diseases and submit it for testing. In Alberta, there is a tick surveillance program which helps to assess the Lyme disease risk to Albertans and even their pets.

Protecting yourself from tick bites

  • Walk on cleared trails whenever possible, and avoid walking in tall grassy or wooded areas.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up as much skin as possible, for example, a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants with the legs tucked into socks or boots.
  • Use a bug spray that contains the chemical DEET to repel ticks and reapply as frequently as directed.
  • Check yourself for ticks after leaving a grassy or wooded area where ticks may live.
  • Check your pets for ticks after they’ve been outside. You can’t get Lyme disease from your pet, but your pet can bring infected ticks inside. These ticks can fall off your pet and attach themselves to you.

When to seek medical attention

Individuals should seek medical attention if symptoms of Lyme disease develop, especially after a tick bite. Symptoms include:

  • a round, red rash that spreads at the site of a tick bite, known as a “bull’s eye rash”
  • flu-like symptoms: tiredness, headaches, sore muscles and joints and fever

In Alberta, the risk of being bitten by a blacklegged tick is low. The risk of being bitten by a blacklegged tick infected with B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease in humans, is even lower.

For more info:


ATV Safety 

​​Off-road vehicles, like all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and snowmobiles are more popular than ever in Alberta. With this comes an increase in serious injury and death. Between 2010 and 2014, 85 Albertans died while riding ATVs. Of those 85, 17 were 16 years and younger. Because more males ride ATVs, more males are injured or killed than females.​

In 2009, of the ATV injuries recorded in the Alberta Trauma Registry just over half of the riders weren’t wearing a helmet. And of those, 6 out of 10 that were badly hurt weren’t wearing a helmet.

ATVs are for adults:  Children under 16 shouldn’t operate any size of ATV. ATVs aren’t toys—they are powerful, heavy machines. ATVs can go up to 105 km/h and can weigh up to 272 kg (600 lbs.).

It’s always important for parents to supervise their children. However, ATVs can be so dangerous that even supervising children under 16 isn’t enough. They don’t have the strength, skill, or ability to judge fast enough if something’s dangerous.

What about ATVs that are marketed for children and youth?

There’s no proof that using a smaller ATV is safer. Children under 16 still have a higher chance of getting hurt—even dying—when using an ATV. They are 2 to 5 times more likely than adults to be injured, even when riding “youth-sized” ATVs.

Three-wheeled ATVs aren’t stable and should never be used. Medical experts agree that anyone under 16 shouldn’t ride ATVs anytime, anywhere, any size.


Cancer and Sexuality 

We often hear lots of support groups for dealing with cancer but what about sex after a cancer diagnosis?

It’s common for people to have changes with sex after having treatment for cancer, medical problems, or mental health issues. Sexuality is complex and depends on many factors like the body, the mind, and relationships.

It’s very common for people to lose their sexual desire or become less interested in sex than they used to be. But, everyone is different. During treatment, people might not be interested in being sexual because they don’t feel good, are too tired, or feel nauseated. For others, having cancer might make them want to live to the fullest and being sexual might help them feel more alive.  Some people have body changes that can make it hard to stay sexually active. Sometimes these changes in body and self-image can make people avoid sex. Sexuality is important and when there are issues, it can affect how people feel about themselves and it can affect relationships.​​

What changes do people with cancer have that can affect sex?  Cancer or treatments can cause these problems, which can affect sex:

  • fatigue
  • vaginal dryness
  • painful intercourse
  • erectile dysfunction
  • decreased sexual sensation
  • difficulty becoming aroused
  • changes in body image
  • scarring or loss of body parts (e.g., breast)​​​​​​​​​​

Feeling Better Starts Here