Lyme disease cases on the rise in Manitoba
Published Friday, May 15, 2015 4:05PM CST Last Updated Friday, May 15, 2015 5:32PM CST
It’s tick season in Manitoba and while many residents have likely heard the warnings before, this year is not a year to take those warnings lightly.
The number of Manitoban's contracting Lyme disease is on the rise and the province aims to raise awareness to make sure you protect yourself.
Elizabeth Rogers’ life changed after she contracted Lyme disease in 2009.
"I range between 60 per cent on my worst days (and) 85 per cent which is today on a better day,” she said.
She was at a lake for the August long weekend. Five days later, Rogers found a tick on her and three days after that she had bull’s-eye rash.
"I did get medication. Not enough. Three months later, I started having balance issues. Four months later, I started having head tremors. Nine months later, I couldn't walk," she said.
Lyme disease has more than 100 symptoms. It can feel like the flu or mirror more serious diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
There were a handful of provincially-recognized Lyme disease cases in Manitoba in 2009 and that number increased to 34 last year.
The disease isn't found in the common wood tick, which is a larger insect.
It's only found in blacklegged , or deer, ticks.
"It's much smaller….there are also younger ticks called nymphs which are very difficult to see. They're about the size of a pin head,” said Richard Baydack from Manitoba Health.
To properly remove a tick, hold it with tweezers and pull the tick straight up in a slow steady motion.
Lyme disease has no cure, but successful treatment of symptoms can take a long time. Elizabeth Rogers still feels pain six years later.
More information on Lyme disease and areas with blacklegged ticks can be found on the province’s website.
Additional information is also available on the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation website.