NORFOLK, Va. - As the weather gets warmer and people are outdoors more, doctors are urging everyone to be on tick watch. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections from ticks, like Lyme disease, are on the rise.
"Lyme disease is the one that we're really scare about," said News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light.
The CDC explains Lyme disease as a bacterial infection spread through ticks that can cause fever, headache, and fatigue. The infection can also spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Ticks are mostly found in tall grass and wooded areas, but they can hitch a ride on your clothes or pets and end up in your home.
Dr. Light said there are several types of ticks, but there's a specific type that is associated with Lyme disease.
"It's just a black tick," said Dr. Light. "It doesn't have any markings on it."
Dr. Light urged people to seek medical attention if they are concerned about a recent tick bite.
"We can get it treated very easily with one dose of antibiotics," Dr. Light said. "Most of the time a tick will stay embedded in the skin, but sometimes there are certain areas where they get scraped off and you may just find a bite wound where the tick was embedded. It almost looks like a mosquito bite."
Dr. Light also explained the best way to remove a tick.
"Don't use any of the things that are on the internet like chemicals or alcohol or any of those things, because they can actually make the tick transmit disease," said Dr. Light. "Take a pair of tweezers, get as close to the head as possible. If the body's engorged don't squeeze that because that will pass [disease] along. Then just pull backwards gently."
He continued, "Then just wash the area with soap and water. If it starts to itch or anything, you can use a little Benadryl."