- It may not feel like summer just yet, but it is time to start thinking about tick prevention.
The peak season for ticks is May through August, but healthcare professionals suggest you be on the lookout as soon as the snow melts.
Last year there were 153 reported cases of tick-borne illnesses in Oneida County alone.
Deer ticks are most likely to transmit Lyme Disease or other tick-borne illnesses.
They're harder to see than wood ticks because they're much smaller.
"It does take about 24 to 36 hours for a deer tick to transmit a tick-borne disease which is why we like to remind people to definitely check yourself over in every area or get some help with that, to make sure that you don't have a tick somewhere on you. And to remove it as soon as you can, preferably by tweezers," said Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens.
If you do start to feel sick, see your doctor.
He or she can check for a tick-borne illness with a quick blood test.
"Symptoms might range from joint pain and joint swelling, especially in the knees, headaches that don't go away, fatigue, and certainly, the hallmark is a bullseye rash that really starts to grow and expand to a good two inches in diameter sometimes or more. It depends on a person's individual reaction," Ahrens explained.
There are ways to prevent ticks from getting on you and getting you sick.
You should use a 20-30% DEET repellent.
You also need to wear long sleeves and long pants if you're walking through tall grass or the woods.
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Written By: Lauren Stephenson