Experts forecast bad season for ticks and Lyme disease

Experts are predicting a bad season for ticks which can bring Lyme disease as well as other serious illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 30,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, and thanks to a mild winter, they expect that number to rise.

"What you see in milder winters is less tick and bug die-off,” said Matt Smith who works in Mosquito Management.

You also see less deer and mice die-off, both animals who carry ticks. Scientists anticipate more cases of Lyme up north.

"They're hard to treat; you can't just go out and spray large areas for ticks. It's environmentally dangerous because of the chemicals you'd have to use," said Smith.

And the nasty bugs are incredibly small and hard to spot.

"They stand on the end of a twig or blade of grass with their little feelers out with their claws and any animal that touches 'em, they just grab on and go for a ride," said Smith.

So check for ticks, a bullseye rash which, by the way, only occurs in half the cases. Also, watch for flu-like symptoms and wear repellent.

Another good way to protect yourself: tuck your socks into your pants.

"They grab onto your shoe. They can easily crawl up under your pants," said Smith.

In 2015 Washington state had 17 confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

You can find more information about different ticks and how to spot the symptoms of Lyme disease at the CDC website 

© 2017 KING-TV


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