In 2010 there were about 30,000 US cases of lyme disease or probable lyme disease symptoms. This year, after a mild winter, the tick population is expected to be large, and the increase in exposure will likely lead to an increase in tick bites and subsequent lyme disease cases.
And tick season has already been going on for a few weeks.
This year, people are being warned to be more vigilant about tick bites. Finding a tick bite is probably the best clue to your doctor if you start having hard to diagnose lyme disease symptoms (not everyone gets the rash).
Check for tick bites regularly—even if you were only working in your own yard. Help check kids, and don’t forget about checking pets for tick bites, either—because symptoms can vary and resemble many other diseases, reporting a tick bite at your next visit with your doctor can be important if you get lyme disease later. The earlier lyme disease symptoms are identified, the earlier treatment can begin, and early treatment with lyme disease is important to reducing the odds of contracting chronic lyme disease or other complications.
Of course, tick bites transmit more than lyme disease. Babesiosis, a parasitic infection, is the next most common tick disease, and often exists as a coinfection to lyme disease. Other less common diseases are also possible, so make sure that any lyme disease symptoms are followed up by a screening for other common infections.
Deet is the recommended tick repellent—do you have natural tick repellent strategies?