The Center for Disease Control has predicted a surge in the number of Lyme-carrying ticks in the Northeast and Midwest from April through the beginning of the summer.
While there is a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease this year compared to previous years, there are various precautions people can take to reduce their risk of getting the tick-borne illness after spending time outdoors.
“When hiking, wear pants and socks, stay in the middle of paths as much as possible, avoiding tall grass and leaf piles where ticks tend to hide,” Dr. Patricia DeLaMora, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, said in an email.
DeLaMora advises people to wear insect repellent with 20-30 percent DEET while outside. She also suggests treating “camping, shoes and gear” with Permethrin, an anti-parasite spray.
Ticks can also find themselves into your home via your household pet.
“Check your pets for ticks as well, as a tick can ‘catch a ride’ on a pet and then attach to a human,” DeLaMora said.
Lyme disease symptoms vary and can be similar to the flu. Symptoms include, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache and fever.Circular rashes are also a product of the disease.
Symptoms can appear in less than a week after a tick bite, according to experts.
A doctor should be contacted for medical advice and treatment immediately if someone believes they have been bitten by a tick.