Lyme disease expected to increase in Indiana - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Lyme disease expected to increase in Indiana

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A tick bite can be a race against the clock.  If it's carrying Lyme disease, the infection can be deadly if not treated soon enough.  And right now is the time to be on the look out.

DR. Scott Stienecker at Parkview Health says, "We can see that the adult female is the biggest, but even in comparison to my finger nail, it's a tiny tiny thing."

It's the smaller ticks that pose the bigger problems, deer ticks, they could carry Lyme disease.

"The high months for acquiring Lyme disease will typically start in about august and then go through October," adds Dr. Stienecker.

Doctors say Lyme disease is present in Indiana, more so in the North along the lake region due to deer tick migration from Wisconsin.  

Dr. Dale McKee at Corner Veterinary Clinic in Fort Wayne says, "I kind of talk about it as a tetris game, we see this coming from two sides, from the northwest and from the east."

Veterinarians typically find hundreds of ticks on a deer's head, and sample them for Lyme disease.  The good news, no sign of it in the northeast region of the state right now.  however, that could change very soon.

"We will start to see increasing amounts of Lyme disease in Indiana over the next few years as we see the migration of the deer tick move - cover deeper into the state," says Dr. Stienecker.

There are different types of deer ticks, some so small, you wouldn't even tell the difference from a tiny mole on your skin.  Most ticks you're likely to come in contact with in this region, and actually see, are dog ticks.  And they're everywhere.  Experts say when you're in a heavy tick infested type of area, pants go into the socks so they don't get crawl up from underneath you.

And those ticks carry the rocky mountain spotted fever, which you're more likely to be exposed to as well. 

"You don't want to get this," says Dr. McKee.

Dr. Stienecker's recommended removal; "Pull in the direction that the tick is embedded straight backwards so that you could try to remove the mouth parts without leaving the head underneath the skin which will fester and cause additional infection."

If rash or fever like symptoms occur from a tick bite, doctors say you should waste no time in getting it checked out.  The Allen County Department of Health says there have been no confirmed cases of Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever this year. 

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