It’s officially tick season in Alberta. If you happen to find yourself out for a walk through the forest or a wooded area, you may want to check yourself for these bitey bugs. According to research conducted by the University of Alberta, one in five people bit by ticks in Alberta are at risk for Lyme disease. 

Lyme disease-carrying ticks are on the rise in Alberta. According to The Bow Valley Crag & Canyon, the Bow Valley has the highest concentration of ticks during the spring and early summer.

The government of Alberta has stated that while spring and summer are their most active times, they can also be out and about when temperatures are above 4 C. 

In research conducted by the University of Alberta and obtained by the Crag & Canyon, it was reported that one in five Albertans bit by a tick could be at risk for Lyme disease. 

But it's not just you that's at risk. The provincial government explained that the disease can also impact domestic animals which means you will definitely want to check your pooch after going for a walk. 

This disease is nothing to scoff at and can be quite serious, especially if ignored. 

If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious and long-term complications. Symptoms will usually develop between three and 30 days after a person gets a tick bite from a tick carrying the disease. 

Symptoms can include a round, red rash that spreads at the sides of the tick bite, followed by flu-like symptoms including headaches, sore muscles and joints, fever, and tiredness. 

In the early stages, Lyme disease can be treated with an antibiotic. 

If you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the above symptoms, the best thing to do is consult a medical professional. 

The Crag & Canon has reported that two types of ticks typically carry the disease.

The first type is the deer tick. These ones typically reside in eastern and southern-central areas of Canada. 

The second type, western black-legged ticks, live along the Pacific coast, mostly B.C. 

The best way to prevent a tick bite is to avoid grassy and wooded areas when possible. You may also want to wear light-coloured clothing and cover as much skin as possible. 

If you get bitten by a tick and are concerned, the best thing to do is properly remove the bug and keep it for future testing, should you develop symptoms. 

The Alberta Health Services has a step by step guide to help you remove the tick safely. 

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