GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) A warning today from doctors that if you venture outside, check yourself for ticks.
The arrival of spring, and especially warmer temperatures, means tick season is here.
They’re the creepy crawlers that like to latch on to you and feast.
And they’re not just in those woods up north. Unfortunately, we live where ticks live.
“We live in tick country. Western Wisconsin and Northeastern Wisconsin are very, very common areas for deer ticks. I have tons of them in my backyard,” says Dr. Amy Romandine Kratz with Prevea Health.
According to Dr. Romandine Kratz, deer ticks caused more than 3,100 cases of Lyme disease in the state in 2018, with the average number of cases more than doubling over the last decade.
Aside from flu-like symptoms of headache, fever, aches and pains, Lyme disease can be life-changing.
“Not treated right away there is some long-term effects. It can cause some joint issues. More rarely it can cause some heart issues,” says Romandine Kratz.
While there are some simple ways to protect yourself, aside from wearing repellent, those options aren’t always desirable in hot, humid weather.
“A lot of the prevention is based around wearing long pants, wearing long sleeves, tucking in your pants into tall socks,” says Dr. Romandine Kratz.
That’s why she is a big proponent of checking yourself over if you’ve been outside.
“It takes over 24 hours for the ticks to actually transmit the bacteria into your blood, so as soon as you’re done with whatever you love to do, do a good tick check, take a shower, get those ticks off right away. And even if they bite you, remember it takes time so you don’t have to panic.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends using tweezers to remove ticks, not matches or Vaseline.
And if you start feeling achy or ill, call your doctor right away.