Lyme disease has increased in recent years in southern Quebec, Montérégie and Estrie, where the number of diagnosed cases has almost tripled since 2016.
To counter this phenomenon, an antibiotic is now available without a prescription.
A single dose can be given by the pharmacist, but the patient should not have symptoms of the disease since the treatment is only preventive.
Doxycycline can prevent the infection and development of Lyme disease if administered within 72 hours after the bite.
25% to 30% of ticks would be infected with Lyme disease. It is said that due to the wet spring, one must be wary, their presence could be earlier.
Among the protective measures to be adopted during outdoor activities and walks in wooded or vegetated areas, it is strongly recommended to wear long clothes, closed shoes and stockings.
It is also suggested to apply a mosquito repellent containing Deet or Icaridin, and to change clothes and shower on return.
Among the cases reported in 2017 in Quebec, 87% were in Estrie or Montérégie.