The first confirmed case of Lyme Disease in Steinbach was reported and according to a doctor from Southern Health, it's just starting.
"Generally, we say the cases reported through the summer and the fall," Dr. Michael Routledge said.
In 2016, there were 22 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in Manitoba, while another 28 were considered probable. With more positive ticks in Manitoba, Dr. Routledge has no reason to believe this year will be any different.
You can protect yourself from from ticks by staying out of long, grassy areas, tucking your pants into your socks, and by removing any ticks that have bit you within 24 hours.
"Ticks need at least 24 hours attached before they can transmit disease," Dr. Routledge said.
Another way to prevent tick bites is to treat your pets, so they do not become carriers. Dogs can get Lyme Disease as well, and according to Dr. Ron Worb from the Andreson Animal Hospital, the number of dogs getting Lyme Disease continues to rise.
"There have been close to 1200 dogs that have tested positive for Lyme [since 2006]," said Dr. Worb. "We've noted the number of positive dogs that have been bitten by deer ticks has increased dramatically."
Luckily, he says that only 10-15% of dogs infected become ill. But Dr. Worb warns that if your dog tests positive, the family should be on the lookout for ticks in the house or for symptoms within family members.
Your vet has multiple preventatives that can keep ticks away. You can also help by checking your dog after they have been through tall grass or in wooded areas. While deer ticks can be anywhere on a dog, they like areas with lots of blood flow and thin skin, like behind the ears, in the armpits, and under the jaw.
If you have a cat, you might be in luck.
"As far as we know, cats, for whatever reason, don't seem to be nearly as suspectible to becoming infected by Lyme Disease," Dr. Worb said.
The classic symptom of Lyme disease is a circular, red rash that looks very distinct, according to Dr. Routledge. Talk to your doctor if you aren't sure.