Watch out for fall ticks

Summer is starting to wind down, but experts are reminding everyone that ticks are still out in full force.  
 
A daily tick check is routine for the Solin- Valdina family.  Six-year-old Leto treated for Lyme disease two years ago. His mother  found a tick on him . Fever and the "bulls eye" followed. 
 
"He was covered from head to toe,"  Laura Solin-Valdina says.
 
Dr. Peter Hotez says preventing tick bites is critical, especially in the spring, summer and  early fall when ticks are most active. 
 
"We have seen a general increase in the number of tick-borne diseases over the last 5 or 6 years. It's not only Lyme disease, we are seeing the emergence of some new tick borne diseases," he explains.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says almost all cases of Lyme disease occur in Pennsylvania and 13 other states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest. The tick that transmits Lyme also can spread babesiosis and anaplasmosis.  
 
Another tick  transmits Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. More than 60 percent of cases happen in  North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.
 
Dr. Hotez says, "Sometimes the symptoms are not specific. You can have fever, headache, rash."
 
The best protection is to use insect repellent  with more than 20 percent DEET and wear tall pants tucked into your socks and shoes, if you'll be going into tall grass.
 
Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician, also recommends checking children, spouses, and friends for ticks.
 
Leto's Lyme disease was treated with antibiotics. And today, he's happy and healthy.   
Experts say if you spot a tick on your body, it's critical to remove it the right way as soon as possible 
 
 

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