(WTOL) - As the weather turns colder and hunting season begins, the Ohio Department of Health wants to remind Ohioans that ticks are still active, and they are still at risk for diseases such as Lyme disease.
The health department has reported 241 cases of Lyme disease in 60 counties so far in 2017.
The department says cases of Lyme disease have steadily increased in Ohio over the past five years. The increase can be attributed to more blacklegged ticks moving into Ohio.
Lyme disease can be transmitted from ticks to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease include flu-like illness, muscle pain and headache. A bull's-eye shaped rash is also often seen around the bite.
Hunters and anyone outdoors can avoid tick bites and Lyme disease by:
- Walking in the center of trails and paths whenever possible to avoid brushing up against ticks
- Apply bug repellent to yourself and your pets
- Tuck pants into boot or socks, and tuck shirts into pants to prevent ticks from crawling inside your clothes
- Shower immediately after coming in from outside
- Check dogs for ticks
If you see a tick on you or your pet, use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out, don't twist or jerk it.
There are no vaccines to prevent tickborne diseases, but Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotic therapy if detected early.