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Michiganders urged to watch out for ticks following mild winter

After a mild winter in Michigan, residents urged to watch for ticks
After a mild winter in Michigan, residents urged to watch for ticks 01:54

(CBS DETROIT) - Macomb County resident Linda Lobes has been facing the lasting impacts of Lyme disease after a tick bite in 1989.

Since then, she has made it her goal to educate people, especially with the summer on the horizon.

"Everything was falling apart. I was originally diagnosed with MS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and I was also sent to a psych ward to be evaluated," Lobes told CBS News Detroit.

She spent three years with multiple doctors, which all concluded with a Lyme disease diagnosis. Since then, she has been named president of the Michigan Lyme Disease Association and uses her traumatic experiences to help people when faced with tick bites.

"About 50% of people get a bullseye rash. You can get bit by a tick in the leg, and it could appear on your arm. The rash can appear anywhere, so you want to make sure you watch for a rash," Lobes said. 

She said it can also start with flu-like symptoms and may make you think you have a cold.

Lobes says Michigan's mild winter brought tick activity far earlier than the typical spring and summer months, as ticks can live under fallen leaves at ground level.

Regarding protective measures, she recommends insect repellents and a classic tool that can be used for dogs and kids when you get home.

"I tell people to use a lint roller. Like, after bringing my dog in from the trails, I have a lint roller and I roll it over him just to see if I pick up any ticks that way," Lobes said.

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