Hungry Ticks On the Prowl

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By Rochelle Dean

(WOLO) COLUMBIA,S.C.,-- The weather has been so unseasonably warm entomologists say they're may not be a larger number of ticks, but they're definitely be hungrier and looking to make you their next meal.

Most of the insects hide in woodlands, tall grass and brush and many of them carry Lyme Disease that if not treated in a timely manner can be fatal.

One local women and two of her family members found that out the hard way. Columbia resident Carol Black, her father and grandson were all bitten and misdiagnosed. She was told the symptoms she was having, weakness, joint pain, and changes in her eyesight were due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Ten years later she found out, her medical conditions were due to a tick bite that infected her with lyme disease. Since left untreated for so long she now suffers from co-infections. Her father also given an improper prognosis was being treated for alzheimer's when in fact, he too was suffering from Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, Black says her father wasn't able to fight in infection and died as a result.

Black says many times test are often unreliable and if you suspect something is wrong and that you could have been bitten, have yourself check out my a doctor who is willing to test for the disease.

Officials say the best way to protect yourself while you are out in wooded areas is to wear white colored clothing so if a tick is on you you know it immediately. Also wear long sleeves and pants to keep your skin from being exposed. And when possible use a repellent with deet. Most importantly, do a tick check on yourself and your family as soon as you leave an area prone to the insects.

Symptoms of the disease can often include headaches, fever, fatigue, chills, swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches...but sometimes there are no signs a all.

for more information on signs and symptoms or how to protect yourself as your out and about enjoying the warm weather go to :
www.ilads.org or call the lyme disease hotline at 1(800)-886-LYME.

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