There have been more ticks this summer than ever before. This has led to a large increase in Lyme disease. Interestingly enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over ninety percent of reported cases of Lyme disease happen in only fourteen states. The states that are most affected are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. However, ticks and Lyme disease are affecting more people. Since the late 1990s there has been an increase by more than 320 percent in the number of counties that are “high-risk” for Lyme disease.
So what should you do if you think you’ve been bitten by a tick?
Check your skin for a small bump
Tick bites can be hard to see, so it might help to have a family member or friend also help you look for a dark red insect stuck on the skin. Also be sure to check areas where there is body hair.
Don’t be fooled if you don’t have symptoms immediately
In most cases, it takes at least several days and up to one month for symptoms to appear. Typically, a red rash is the first sign. You should be looking for a small red bump with a red ring around it. It looks somewhat like a bullseye. If you see anything that resembles this, you should take a picture right away. There are many other symptoms that can follow including fever, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. These symptoms are often confused with “summer flu.”
Call your doctor!
If you believe see a tick bite and/or have any of the symptoms you should call your doctor immediately! The best way to make sure you avoid Lyme disease is to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.
What’s the best way to make sure that you avoid Lyme disease? To prevent getting bit by a tick in the first place! To read more about prevention click here.