Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Health experts warn that because of various environmental factors, it’s likely we will see a big increase in ticks that carry Lyme disease.
An expanding bullseye shaped rash is usually – but not always – the first sign of Lyme disease. Many patients then develop a severe flu-like illness with muscle aches, fever, chills and fatigue. Blood tests at this stage may be negative, but most physicians working in tick infested areas will treat with appropriate antibiotics when the symptoms are classic, even without a positive blood test.
Experts stress that it’s best to prevent infection by:
- Wearing protective clothing
- Using appropriate insect repellents
- Carefully checking both people and pets for attached ticks after being out in known high risk areas
If a tick is found attached, it should be slowly removed using tweezers, applied at the point of skin attachment. Use of heat or fluids to first kill the tick is not recommended. It’s helpful to save the tick to show your doctor as part of making a treatment decision.