Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria and is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. Symptoms for this disease include: fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Untreated, the Lyme disease infection can spread to the heart, nervous system, and joints. Diagnosis for Lyme disease is symptom-based, may involve lab testing, and addresses the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Lyme disease, in most cases, can be treated with antibiotics Ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
The blacklegged tick is responsible for the increase in Lyme disease cases throughout the state of Ohio. 270 cases were reported in 2017, a steady increase from the 45 cases reported in 2008. Lyme disease can be contracted year-round, but, most cases occur in late spring and summer. Warmer spring weather will bring an upsurge in outdoor activity increasing the odds of coming into contact with ticks and the risk of contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Remember to protect yourselves with insect repellent carefully following package instructions, and wear long sleeves and pants. Avoid tall, overgrown grassy areas when possible. Check yourself, and your pets, immediately upon entering your home for ticks.
Please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html to learn the proper method for tick removal.