tick-cp-5276491

A female deer tick (also known as blacklegged tick) is seen under a University of Rhode Island microscope. The tick can carry Lyme disease. (Victoria Arocho/Associated Press) ((Victoria Arocho/Associated Press))

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are on the move on the island of Newfoundland, lab tests have confirmed.

Dr. Hugh Whitney, Newfoundland and Labrador's chief veterinary officer, said 19 deer ticks have been discovered so far this summer.

Four of them tested positive for Lyme disease, which can cause rashes, fevers and muscle pain in humans.

"The advice is to, if you're walking in areas of long grass, or with your legs exposed, to look afterwards to see if there are any ticks on you," Whitney told CBC News.

"They can be relatively small to quite visible and it takes them about 36 hours … before they can actually affect you."

There have been sporadic reports of Lyme disease in Newfoundland and Labrador. The disease had not been found in Canada until the 1980s.

Lyme disease can usually be treated with a prescription of antibiotics.

Whitney said pet owners should be vigilant since ticks mostly attach themselves to pets.

Infected pets lose their appetite and energy, and develop a fever.

Whitney said no cases of Lyme disease have yet been reported in humans in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Whitney said ticks have come to Newfoundland by attaching themselves to migratory birds.