Recognize Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases

 Credit:  Andrey Zharkikh , Flickr

Credit: Andrey Zharkikh, Flickr

As beautiful as Minnesota summers are, it's nearly impossible to make it through the season without encountering a few of our infamous pests. 

While most tick and mosquito bites are nothing but a temporary nuisance, some can be deadly. 

Here's what to look for and when to see a doctor:

Ticks

Be on the lookout for these eight-legged parasites whenever temperatures are above freezing – especially between May and July. They can carry all sorts of nasty illnesses like Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and others

Bites and Rashes

While it's common to get some itchy or slightly painful irritation along with a bug bite, keep an eye out for anything that looks out of the ordinary. The classic indicator of Lyme Disease is a bullseye-shaped rash that expands out from the initial bite. However, some people experience different rashes while others experience no rash at all. Click here for examples of Erythema Migrans, the Lyme Disease rash, and see a doctor if you develop an usual rash.

Other symptoms

Go to a doctor if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous or weak, or if you get a fever or muscle aches after a tick (or mosquito) bite. Remember, it's possible to have been bitten even if you haven't found the culprit. 

The sooner you get treated, the sooner you'll feel better.