Ohio Health Department: Tick-borne illnesses on the rise - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio Health Department: Tick-borne illnesses on the rise

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SALEM, Ohio -

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are expected to cause big problems again this summer.  

This year the Ohio Department of Health is warning that cases of Lyme disease are on the rise.  Deer ticks are the only type of tick that carries Lyme. They look a little different than a dog tick but they are prevalent in the woodlands and fields around our region.  So once you leave those areas it's important to check your body for them.  

"You want to look at yourself and see if there are any on you before they actually attach. If they actually attach you actually have a little bit of time before they start transmitting the disease," said Salem City Health Commissioner Lynle Hayes.

If you have a pet, chances are they are going to be in the tall grass and brush more than you are so you definitely want to check them before you go inside the house.

"I have personally found several ticks on my dog that have not attached that have gone to my children's clothing," said Hayes.

What if you do have one?  Get some tweezers.

"Get them as close to your skin as you can. Pull directly out. Do not do it at an angle. You want to get all of the mouthparts out because that can still transmit the disease," added Hayes.

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose. Sometimes there's a bull's eye rash but not always.

Even if you are tested for it, a recent John Hopkins study shows a 75 percent inaccuracy rate in the test that detects it. 

So look out for symptoms which can include fever, headache, fatigue, and a rash.  

If you think they could be from a tick make sure your doctor prescribes at least a 14 day round of antibiotics to kill the bacteria that causes Lyme.

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