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Ticks with Lyme disease detected in Southeast Michigan

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) - Ticks in a Southeast Michigan county have tested positive for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease

Testing by the Lenawee County Vector Borne Disease Surveillance program revealed that Ixodes scapularis, also known as blacklegged ticks, tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. 

This is the first time ticks in Lenawee County have tested positive for carrying the pathogen, according to the county's website. 

Health officials say Lenawee County has been considered an area with the potential risk for Lyme disease, because of how close it is to other counties that have had positive cases

Symptoms of Lyme disease

The early symptoms of Lyme disease infection include the following: 

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches or stiffness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Preventing tick bites

To prevent the spread of the disease, county health officials are recommending that residents:

  • Perform check ticks after being outside, paying special attention to under the arms, around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and in the hair
  • Use insect repellent with 20% or more DEET
  • Wear long sleeves, shoes and socks when outside
  • Stay away from wooded and busy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Shower as soon as possible after outdoor activities
  • Check pets and outdoor gear for ticks regularly. 

In addition, residents should be aware of the most common ticks in Michigan. Although they are present throughout the year, ticks are most active during warmer months. Ticks also are more active earlier in the year, after a mild winter.

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