A significant increase in tick populations has been reported across the northeast of the United States, raising the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailmentss. Specifically, residents in Maine have reported large numbers of ticks and health officials in Vermont have reported an above-average rate of emergency room visits related to tick bites in June. However, Massachusetts health officials have said that residents are seeing more dog ticks rather than black-legged deer ticks, which carry Lyme.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged deer tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a ringed skin rash called erythema migrans. The disease can spread to the heart, lungs, and nervous system if left untreated.
To avoid tick bites, individuals should use insect repellent when outdoors and wear long sleeve shirts and pants when walking in densely wooded areas. Check for ticks afterwards and remove them immediately if discovered.