With tick season in full swing, a Lyme disease advocacy group is hoping to stress the importance of prevention while educating people on emerging tick-borne illnesses.
Powassan or Deer Tick virus, and Borrelia Miyamotoi bacteria have been found in black legged ticks in the province.
So far, health officials in Manitoba have not found anyone infected with the deer tick virus, but have found cases of Borrelia miyamotoi.
You may be at risk for Lyme disease this summer, so doctors are using the month of May to spread awareness.
Rusk said symptoms of Miyamotoi could look similar to Lyme disease.
"You treat it with the same as for Lyme", Dr. Richard Rusk, medical manager of communicable diseases at Manitoba Public Health, reported.
Both diseases can be transmitted to humans through blacklegged ticks. "You may unknowingly be going in an area that has high rates of Lyme disease and if your pet is unprotected, they stand a very high likelihood of developing lime disease". Both the conditions were listed as emerging tick-borne diseases in the recent letter from Manitoba Public Health.
"We had (Borrelia miyamotoi) as the new disease for the physicians to be aware of", told Rusk.
Rusk also said much like Lyme disease, a blood test could potentially detect Borrealia Miyamotoi.
"If you. know what to do if you are bit by a tick and get the proper treatment, you're saving yourself a lifetime", said Marnie LePage, spokesperson for the organization.
According to health officials, people should cover up when heading into any area where there could be ticks, along with tucking trousers into socks, using tick repellent, and doing a thorough tick check upon returning inside. Those heading into the woods should apply tick repellent as well. Ticks typically don't live out in the open but more-so where your yard might borders a wooded area or if you have gardens and shrubs your pets get into.
Anyone who finds a tick can send an image of the insect to the Manitoba's Tick Checker and they will be able to tell you what kind of tick it is, and if the bug could be sent in for testing.