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Health: Research Released About New Tick Threat

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- On the CBS3 HealthWatch, warm summer days increase the risk of tick bites and Lyme disease. For the past five years, Pennsylvania has had the most cases of tick-born illnesses in the country. Now there's new research about another new tick threat.

Dean Traut is vigilant about protecting himself and his grandkids from ticks after having Lyme disease. ""It's probably the worst illness or pain I've been through," Dean says.

Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne illness, but it's not the only one. A report in Annals of Internal Medicine finds a newly recognized ailment related to ticks, BMD, is becoming more common in the Northeast.   Dr. Bobbi Pritt the Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at  Mayo Clinic describes the symptoms:  "Fever, severe headache, lots of body aches. "

Dr. Bobbi Pritt studies tick-borne diseases, which she says can cause a wide range of symptoms and can be especially difficult to diagnose.  The best ways to prevent tick bites is to wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks and use insect repellents.  Experts say ticks should be removed with tweezers,  then the area of the bite should be  thoroughly cleaned.

Many tick-transmitted diseases can be treated with antibiotics.

Researchers have warned Pennsylvania residents of an increased risk of Lyme and other tick related diseases after a study found ticks present in every county throughout the Commonwealth for the very first time.


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