Tick season in full swing, ways to prevent being bitten by a tick

YORK COUNTY, Pa.-- With summer quickly approaching, that means tick season is upon us. Experts say more ticks are starting to come out, which increases your chance of getting Lyme Disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control and their Lyme Disease Map, Pennsylvania ranks as one of the highest reported with cases of Lyme Disease in the Country.

Health experts say today, there are a lot more Lyme Disease carrying ticks in our state. The CDC and the PA Department of Health closely monitor the number of black legged ticks--  also known as deer ticks in Pennsylvania. These ticks have been found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

On Thursday, officials with the PA Department of Health met at the Boyd Big Tree Preserve in Dauphin County to discuss what they've been finding in their tick studies.

Lyme Disease can cause headaches, fevers, fatigue, and rashes. However, the CDC and the PA Department of Health says there are some ways you can reduce the chance of being bitten by a tick.

The CDC says one crucial thing you can do is use Environmental Protection Agency regulated insect repellents. It's different than normal bug spray and contains certain ingredients that can help fight off ticks. They also say when you are outdoors for an extended period of time, to shower and wash your clothes right away. It's also important to check your body and your hair for ticks. Hair especially if it's longer, making them harder to spot.

The Health Secretary Doctor, Rachel Levine says she contracted Lyme Disease and is reminding people about some more ways you can find ticks in addition to your clothing.

"If you can get the tick off, that'd be great. If you take a shower, you might be able to wash the tick off, wash your clothes in hot water, which would kill the tick. And don't forget to check your pets, as they may very well be how I got my Lyme Disease," says Dr. Levine, the Secretary of the PA Department of Health.

If you can get the tick off, that'd be great. If you take a shower, you might be able to wash the tick off, wash your clothes in hot water, which would kill the tick. and don't forget to check your pets, as that may very well be how I got my Lyme disease.

A new study from Penn State University shows the number of deer ticks in PA has boomed since the 1960's. The authors believe the tick population began increasing when forests, which were cut down over the last century, grew back.

If confirmed reports continue to come in, the CDC says his could become an epidemic.

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