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Updated: 6th January 2019 17:34

Lyme disease warning issued

Ticks carrying Lyme disease have been found in Alberta, say health officials.

A female deer tick is seen under a University of Rhode Island microscope. The tick can carry Lyme disease. (Victoria Arocho/Associated Press)Ticks carrying Lyme disease have been found in Alberta, say health officials.

Five ticks found on four dogs and a cat have tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The pets live in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

Lyme disease can result in neurological and muscular problems weeks or months after the initial infection. There hasn't been a human case of the disease in Alberta since 2008.

"Lyme disease can be a serious condition if it's not detected early and is left untreated," said Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta's chief medical officer of health in a statement.

"Your best defence against Lyme disease is prevention. Everyone should use insect repellent and cover up when walking in tall grass, woods or brush to avoid being bitten by ticks."

The disease can be recognized on humans by a red, circular rash that starts at the tick bite. An infected person may also experience a fever, chills, headache and feel tired.

Alberta's tick surveillance program has identified over 25 ticks that carried the Lyme disease bacteria since 2007. Alberta Health says there have been 20 cases of human Lyme disease reported in the province from 1989 to 2008.

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