News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 3, 2021

MANITOBANS ENCOURAGED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO MINIMIZE RISK OF TICK EXPOSURE



May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and public health officials with Manitoba Health and Seniors Care remind Manitobans that tick-borne diseases are preventable. People can protect themselves by performing regular tick checks after spending time outdoors, knowing where blacklegged ticks may be found, minimizing their risk of exposure, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases. These precautions will help protect against anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease.

Manitobans are reminded that when outside, it is still important to practise physical distancing according to current COVID-19 public health guidelines. For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Blacklegged ticks, which can carry anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease, are most commonly found within and along the edge of forests and in areas with thick, woody shrubs and other vegetation.  These ticks are typically found from early spring when snow melts through late fall, with peaks in adult activity in the spring and fall. 

Manitoba’s new eTick program helps monitor and assess the continued expansion of the blacklegged tick populations. Manitobans can use eTick when they find ticks on animals, humans or in various habitats. They can submit a picture to have the tick identified by experts, which will let them confirm if the tick they found belongs to a species capable of transmitting tick-borne disease. To submit a picture of a tick visit www.etick.ca.

Limiting exposure to potentially infected blacklegged ticks, particularly the smaller nymphs who are active during the late spring and summer months, is the key to tick-borne disease prevention.

Manitobans are encouraged to take precautions to minimize their risk of tick exposure by:
• applying an appropriate tick repellent, following label directions, 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; and
• keeping grass and shrubs around homes cut short to create drier environments that are less suitable for blacklegged tick survival.

Symptoms of anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease can be found at:
www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/tickborne/index.html.

People who think they may have anaplasmosis, babesiosis or Lyme disease should contact a doctor. For more information, they may also contact Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) 1 888 315-9257.

To learn more about blacklegged ticks, tick-disease and prevention, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/tickborne/.

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