Lyme disease, other tick-borne illnesses prompt warning in Manitoba
Blacklegged ticks can carry anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease
Wood ticks are back, creeping and crawling around Manitoba, prompting a warning from the province to be aware and protect yourself from tick-borne diseases.
Blacklegged ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis, are commonly found within and along the edge of forests and in areas with thick, woody shrubs and other vegetation.
The province is monitoring and assessing the continuing range expansion of blacklegged ticks, which are most often found from early spring through late fall.
Manitobans are encouraged to take precautions to minimize their risk of tick exposure by:
- Applying an appropriate tick repellent on exposed skin and clothing.
- Inspecting themselves, children and pets after spending time outdoors.
- Removing ticks as soon as possible from people and pets.
- Staying to the centre of walking trails.
- Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Keeping grass and shrubs around homes cut short to create drier environments that are less suitable for blacklegged tick survival.
Symptoms can start five to 21 days after a tick bite and may include fever, chills, headache, joint aches, nausea and vomiting, often in association with blood abnormalities and/or liver abnormalities. Anaplasmosis can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Symptoms can start one to six weeks after a tick bite and may include non-specific flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea or fatigue. Babesiosis can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Symptoms can start about three days to one month after a tick bite, often with an expanding rash which then fades. Early symptoms can also include headache, stiff neck, muscle aches or fatigue, fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes. Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics and treatment is most successful in the early stages of infection.
People who think they may have anaplasmosis, babesiosis or Lyme disease should see their doctor. For more information, they may also contact Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) 1-888-315-9257.
For more information about tick-borne diseases, including a map showing the blacklegged tick risk areas and additional information about prevention, can be found here.