Lyme Disease on the rise with changing seasons

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Do you know how to combat ticks?

The month of May is designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

And the threat of this disease is on the rise.

With spring soon changing to summer, that means more families will be spending time outdoors, doing activities like hiking and camping.

These activities, while a lot of fun, pose some risks. One of those risks is Lyme Disease spread by ticks.

"Lyme disease is an actual bacterial illness that is transmitted by a certain tick, and unfortunately a tick that resides in this area," says David Ensz, Pediatrician with Mercy Medical Center.

Ticks are smaller than a tenth of the size of your fingernail, and when they bite and transmit the disease, people start to see symptoms after three to seven days, maybe even longer.

These symptoms do vary, so sometimes it is hard to diagnose.

"You can have some nausea, arthritis is a common one, you just don't feel well. Sometimes you can get fevers and chills. You can get some headache involved with it," says Ensz. "But the main sign that you'll see in most people is a circular rash where the tick bite was develop."

These symptoms can be treated with prescription medicines, but the best way to combat Lyme Disease is to prevent tick bites in the first place as best as you can.

Ensz says that prevention is actually quite simple, by wearing long, light colored clothing, and even using insect repellent.

"You can do insect repellent with deet. It doesn't kill the tick, but it may repel it a little bit."

But just remember...check your skin frequently both when outside and inside for possible ticks.

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