Tips to prevent tick bites as warm months approach

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Michigan residents are encouraged to take precautions as warmer months approach and tick seasons begins.

State health officials say in recent years, cases of tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease, have been increasing in Michigan. 149 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2015, and 221 in 2016.

Officials say the ticks that spread Lyme disease have been spreading from the Upper Peninsula and western Michigan to new locations in the Lower Peninsula.

Jennifer Eisner is the Public Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“If you are in a tick infested area make sure you do a tick check when you come back indoors to see if there are ticks anywhere. If you find a tick you want to remove it completely, after that you want to watch the area to see if there’s any type of redness and watch for other symptoms that may relate to Lyme disease.”

Eisner said other symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, rash, and muscle or joint aches. She said with this disease, prevention is the best cure.

“One of the main things that you can do to avoid tick bites is to avoid tick infested areas. So you want to walk in the center of trails to avoid contact, you want to protect your pets, you want to make sure dogs and cats come inside and that when they do come inside they are checked for ticks.”

Eisner said always check yourself and your pets for ticks after being in a ick infested area.

More tips on how to avoid tick bites can be found at the MDHHS website.
Also, a map of Michigan’s areas with more cases of Lyme disease can be found here.