Summer is almost upon us and that means memorable vacations and lots of chances to explore the great outdoors. But when you are having fun outside, you have to be mindful of ticks.
Medical experts say you should be especially careful this year.
Researchers fear ticks could become a greater problem this summer due to the unusually warm winter in much of the United States.
The bacteria, viruses and parasites they carry can pass along a host of health problems including Lyme disease.
Here's what to know to keep yourself protected.
Ticks can be found in various places including backyards, under leaves and on ground cover.
Generally doctors say the bites cannot be felt, but after a day or two one might sense a mild itching.
Common symptoms from a tick-borne sickness include fever, chills, body aches and loss of appetite.
Lyme disease is known for causing a bulls-eye rash.
If left untreated the illness can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.
If you're bitten by a tick, the first thing to do is remove it, if it's still there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to remove it.
Then clean the bite area with alcohol, then soap and water.
Medical experts say there's no need to visit a doctor immediately, only if symptoms appear days or weeks later.
If you do go to a physician, save the tick if possible to help them identify what they're dealing with.
PO Box 4508