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Province Encourages Manitobans to Take Precautions to Minimize Risks of Tick Exposure

Posted on: May 1, 2017  |  

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living is reminding Manitobans that tick-borne diseases are preventable.  Manitobans ca protect themselves by performing regular tick checks after spending time outdoors, knowing where blacklegged ticks are located, minimizing the risk of exposure, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases.  These precautions will help protect against anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease.

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 more often found from early spring through late fall.  The smaller nymphs are difficult to see and are most abundant during late spring and summer.   The province is monitoring and assessing the continuing range expansion of blacklegged ticks, and has identified blacklegged tick risk areas, where the risk of tick-borne disease transmission is greatest.  Blacklegged ticks found within these risk areas are more likely to carry the agents that cause anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease.  While blacklegged ticks can be found outside of these blacklegged tick risk areas, the risk of tick-borne disease transmission is lower.

The burden of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases in Manitoba continues to increase.  Since 2015, nearly 85 per cent of the anaplasmosis and Lyme disease cases reported in Manitoba likely had local exposure.  In addition, less than one in three Manitobans infected with Lyme disease recalled a tick bite.  Limiting exposure to potentially infected blacklegged ticks 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 can start five to 21 days after a tick bite and may include fever, chills, headache, joint aches, nausea and vomiting, often in association with blood abnormalities and/or liver abnormalities.  Anaplasmosis can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Symptoms of babesiosis can start one to six weeks after a tick bite and may include non-specific flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea or fatigue.  Babesiosis can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can start about three days to one month after a tick bite, often with an expanding rash which then fades.  Early symptoms can also include headache, stiff neck, muscle aches or fatigue, fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes.  Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics and treatment is most successful in the early stages of infection.

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

For more information about tick-borne diseases, including a map showing the blacklegged tick risk areas and additional information about prevention, go to www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/tickborne/index.html

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Daily Parks update for Friday May 20,2022 (Note from WCA - long report with lots of new items suggest you read in full)Hello WCA, Here are the highlights of today’s information: - We have projections for the Winnipeg River for the next 10-15 days and an estimated crest of early June. - Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Please pay attention to signage and do not cross barricades or flagging tape. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly and pay attention to onsite signage. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in this area in the event that damage to the boardwalk and seawall continues. - PR307 near the Rennie River/ Heart Lake Boat Launch is now closed to all traffic. Wind and wave action have cause the water in this area to continue rising today. The roadway underneath the water is rough in spots. Manitoba Parks is not advising travel to cottages and trails in the Betula Lake area. - Work was done today on the 8 Foot Falls Black Road today to raise the level of the road and help to maintain access.- Two more boat launches are closed: 8 Foot Falls and West Hawk. - Creekside loop of Old Nutimik Seasonal campground is now closed and campers have been asked to remove their units. Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 20, 2022Water continue to along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system. Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as the river near the Pointe du Bois subdivision continue to rise as water moves from Lake of the Woods through the Winnipeg River system. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions of water along the river. Manitoba Hydro has provided an estimate today (May 20) that we can expect the following increases above current level of the Winnipeg River over the next 10-15 days: 8 Foot Falls - 1.2 Feet, Nutimik Lake - 2.1 Feet, Dorothy Lake – 1.9 Feet, 2.2 – Margaret/ Eleanor Lake, and 2.3 Feet – Sylvia Lake. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest in early June. Water levels remain high throughout Whiteshell Provincial Park. Caddy, Falcon, West Hawk, Star, and Brereton are reporting a slight decrease in levels today compared to yesterday. Jessica, White, and Betula Lakes all reported a small increase today from yesterday. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Please pay attention to signage and do not cross barricades or flagging tape. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly and pay attention to onsite signage. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in this area in the event that damage to the boardwalk and seawall continues. Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba, Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible. A large sandbagging machine is in operation making prefilled sandbags for distribution at the Otter Falls Ball Diamond. Please be careful when attending this location, expect a staff person to be directing traffic, and that you may have to wait for large equipment to clear. Sandbag production will be ongoing from 9am to 7pm daily weather permitting. Pre-filled sandbags are being moved to sand and sandbag filling stations below as supply allows. In the past three days we have made approximately 30,000 sandbags for distribution. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, the Otter Falls Ball Diamond, across from Nutimik Maintenance Yard, the Betula Ball Diamond, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. There is also a limited amount of pre-filled sandbags available at the 8-Foot Falls location. PR307 near the Rennie River/ Heart Lake Boat Launch is now closed to all traffic. Wind and wave action have cause the water in this area to continue rising today. The roadway underneath the water is rough in spots. Manitoba Parks is not advising travel to cottages and trails in the Betula Lake area. PR 307 between Betula Lake and White Lake, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed. Water is present on the highway at: PTH 44 near McGillvray Falls, PR 309 near Meditation Lake, PR 307 near Jessica Lake and PR 313 to Pointe du Bois. PR309 is very rough from the junction of PR 307 to Big Whiteshell, please use caution when travelling in this area. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling (you can also call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone). Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk (12” deep), Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8 (19” deep), White Lake Block 4 (16” deep), and Otter Falls Block 4 (6-14” deep). Several other block roads in the Otter Falls area and throughout the park have water on the roadways. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. Work was done today on the 8 Foot Falls Black Road today to raise the level of the road and help to maintain access. The following boat launches are closed: 8 Foot Falls, West Hawk, Big Creek, Otter Falls, White Lake, Jessica Lake, Rennie River/ Heart Lake, Nutimik Lake Block 1, Nutimik Campground, Opapiskaw, South Shore Big Whiteshell, Toniata, Brereton Lake North Shore (Inverness Falls), and Falcon Beach Campground. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Manitoba Park staff continue to actively monitor the floating bog at Caddy Lake, and address the bog as required on a proactive basis. The bog is not impacting the outflow of Caddy Lake. To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational motor boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of the shoreline on: West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Brereton, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret and Eleanor Lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. The following hiking trails are closed: Pine Point Rapids, Forester’s Footsteps, Bannock Point, Alfred Hole, the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground), TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay, and Hunt Lake. The Mantario Hiking Trail, Mantario Canoe Route and Caddy Lake Tunnels are closed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). Backcountry Campsites above Lamprey Falls are closed due to flooding. Campers should check the Manitoba Parks homepage for the status of campgrounds prior to coming to the park. Several campgrounds have full or partial closures. Otter Falls, Betula, and White Lake Campgrounds are closed. Individual site closures are in place at Nutimik Lake and Opapiskaw Campgrounds. 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