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Mild winter could make this year's tick season especially rough, experts say

Mild winter could make this year's tick season especially tough, experts say
Posted at 2:45 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 14:49:47-04

Yet another health concern for 2020 – the Lyme Disease Research Group reports that a mild winter could make this year's tick season especially rough.

Eva Sapi, the director of the research group, told CNN that “we have a bad year for the ticks,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer told CNN that hikers and campers may "just explode into the outdoors, and there may not be the same thoughtful approach" to preventing exposure.

Segal-Maurer is the director of the Dr. James Rahal, Jr. Division on Infectious Diseases at New York Presbyterian Queens health car system.

"I'm a little nervous that their guard may be down just a slight bit," she said.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an increase in tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.

Follow these tips to prevent exposure to ticks:

1. Use an insect repellent with DEET
2. Place socks over pants and wear long-sleeved shirts to block ticks from getting near your skin
3. Wear light-colored clothing to make ticks easier to spot
4. Do a body check when you get back indoors

Ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, which can lead to rashes that often looks like bullseyes. Lyme disease also has some of the same symptoms as COVID-19, such as fever, chills and headache.

If left untreated, the CDC says a Lyme disease infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system, leading to more problems.

Click here to learn more from the CDC about ticks and the threats they pose.