The number of black-legged ticks in southeastern Manitoba is on the rise, which has led to a surge in the incidents of Lyme disease.
Reports of the disease tripled in 2012 over the year before — going from seven to 21 — according to Shelley Buchan, the medical officer of health for the southern regional health authority.
“The numbers to me show that Lyme disease is a real concern. It’s not just a theoretical risk and that messages about prevention and early treatment are really, really important,” she said.
“Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria infection so that means antibiotics are effective and can be used to treat it [if identified early enough].”
Signs of a bite include a ring-shaped rash, which usually appears within a month. Other symptoms could be more systemic, like headaches, fever, muscle joints and aches, said Buchan.
“So if you’ve been bitten, what we tell people is mark it on the calendar and within the next month if you develop signs, go see your family doctor and ask about Lyme disease testing,” she said.