Prevent tick bites as outdoor activities increase

OHIO – Warmer weather means people are already ready to go outside, but it’s also time for ticks that can transmit Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, or fatigue. If not treated early enough, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system.

What do you want to know

  • Ticks come out in May, when warm weather arrives, and they can cause Lyme disease
  • Dr Dan Sullivan of the Cleveland Clinic said he was looking for ticks after spending time outdoors
  • A tick bite can look like a target
  • It can take about 36 hours before ticks make someone sick

Dr. Dan Sullivan, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, says the first symptoms people may notice are a bite or a rash.

“The rash occurs several days after the bite, and is initially a small red area that may slowly expand, and then the center starts to clear, so it almost looks like a target,” Sullivan said.

Some patients may also experience flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, low fever, and sometimes headaches.

Sullivan said ticks are found in backyards and outdoor recreation areas, making it essential to check for them after coming indoors.

“If so, take a little pair of tweezers and pull it out,” Sullivan said. “It takes about 36 hours for these ticks before they make us sick.”

In the event of a bite, the first 36 hours are crucial to reduce the risk of becoming ill.

“It’s really important to notice if we get that check mark within 36 hours,” Sullivan said. “If only longer, perhaps about 8% of people will get Lyme disease and it can be treated, and treated well by all of our healthcare practitioners.”