Pennsylvania reports more tick bites and cases of Lyme disease


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s the time of year when ticks are most prevalent and whether you’re hiking or just in the backyard, you could be at risk of a tick bite.

“Whenever someone stops to ask me about trails, I say make sure you have plenty of sprays and make sure you check yourself on the way out, I always tell everybody that,” Jim Martin, Park Ranger for DCNR said.

Martin knows the importance of looking for ticks after he was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

“A couple of weeks later, I started getting body aches and a fever and didn’t think anything of it until I woke up one day with Bell’s palsy and my face was paralyzed and turns out, it was from the Lyme disease,” Martin said.

Ronald Skrabut hikes several times a week.

“Sometimes I think too careless and today I put on a dose of it and it does concern me much more than it has,” Skrabut said.

It’s also a concern for the Pennsylvanian Department of Health.

“This year we’re seeing more than ever, more tick bites but also of Lyme disease,” Dr. Denise Johnson, Physician General of Pennsylvania Department of Health said.

Experts say wear lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants and tuck pants into your socks.

“Walk in the middle of the trail, avoid touching vegetation,” Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said.

If you’re outside, make sure to have spray on hand and check for ticks before getting back in your car.

“Shower, including a head scrub, and then a tick check and a tick check should be pretty thorough, it should involve mirrors,” Dunn said.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, and body aches.

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