Montgomery County has been a hot zone for the blacklegged tick, the primary carrier of Lyme disease, for at least a decade, writes Megan Frank for PBS39.
“I’ve gone out and found 50 ticks in a small area,” said Steve Gerloff, environmental field services supervisor for the Montgomery County Office of Public Health.
Gerloff collects ticks at John James Audubon Center and sends them to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
“They identify everything we send them and test for Lyme disease,” he said.
Lyme disease is transmitted through a bite from an infected blacklegged tick with a small red bump often appearing on the skin.
Symptoms of Lyme disease may include swelling in the area of the bite, fever, and fatigue. Anybody noticing these symptoms should immediately contact their physician.
The treatment is more effective the earlier the disease is detected, said Gerloff.
He recommended inspecting for ticks and tick bites after spending time outdoors. To minimize the chance of bites, he advised sticking to park trails and manicured areas, as well as using bug spray with DEET.
Read more about how to deal with tick bites at PBS39 by clicking here.
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