(Granby) The City of Granby participates in a research project on Lyme disease. The tick sampling will be carried Miner at Woodlands Park by the end of August. Results will be available in spring 2017.
Samples of ticks are actually collected from 40 municipalities in the Eastern Townships, Monteregie and Centre-du-Québec, as part of this project funded by the Canadian Public Health Agency, explained the scientific advisor to the National public health Institute of Quebec (INSPQ), Ariane Adam-Poupart.
This work is taking place on the sidelines of the overall project monitoring ticks that might import Lyme disease, she said, while researchers are at work in 10 regions of Quebec.
Because the disease is gaining ground. In 2015, 160 cases were reported in La Belle Province, compared to 126 in 2014, 143 in 2013, 43 in 2012 and 32 in 2011, according to data from the Health Portal of the Government of Quebec.
“Lyme disease was first described in 1977. Several cases were then reported in children from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, in the United States. Since then, thousands of cases have been reported in the US, Canada and European countries, “is he said.
Besides redness on the skin, Lyme disease, which requires antibiotic treatment, can cause symptoms of fever, fatigue, headache, stiff neck and muscle and joint pain. If the disease is not treated, it can lead to complications.
The project, put forward in collaboration with the research team of the University of Montreal, led by Patrick Leighton of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Saint-Hyacinthe, will seek to answer such a question. “Why there are cases of Lyme disease in some municipalities and there are none in other similar cities?” Explains Ariane Adam-Poupart.
Twenty cities “cases” and so many “witnesses” cities will be compared. Granby is in the first group, while more than three cases of Lyme disease have been confirmed there since 2004, said the scientific advisor. The city has a “moderate risk”, according to a map of the INSPQ.
Sampling of ticks carried by the “method of flannel” will check for ticks infected with the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease. This method involves dragging a flannel piece on a plot of grass. “Ticks waiting hosts, human or animal, cling to the flannel” says Adam-Poupart.
In the aftermath, a slew of other information will be collected in the field, the composition of the forest cover, the presence of deer, etc .. Ticks, they are sent to the Quebec Public Health Laboratory for identification. Those carrying bacteria can, secondly, be sent to a laboratory in Winnipeg.
The study should be completed in March 2017, says the scientific advisor to the INSPQ. It will, among other measures, by municipality, the level of risk of Lyme disease in Quebec.
Some preventive measures may nevertheless be applied to reduce the risk of contracting the disease, such as walking the trails and avoid tall grass. It is also recommended to use mosquito repellent, wear a hat, closed shoes and long clothing. It is advisable to ensure the absence of ticks on the body after returning from a walk in a wooded area.