Update: Risk of Lyme Disease - Ticks Found In Douglas County

Update: The ticks have also been found in Saunders and Sarpy Counties as well.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture found the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick, in Douglas County. This tick is a known carrier of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

The CDC reports that symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash that forms a bulls eye pattern. If not treated, infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.

They are small - roughly one-eighth of an inch in length or about the size of a sesame seed.

You can help avoid tick bites by:

Avoiding tall grass and shrubs.

Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts in light colors.

Tuck pant legs into your socks and shirts into pants.

Apply an approved repellent - the same ones used for mosquitoes are fine.

If you find a tick, carefully remove it and try to save it in a small container that can be filled with rubbing alcohol and sealed. Take it to the Nebraska Cooperative Extension office or your doctor for examination. You can also call the Health Department at 402-444-7481.

If you find a tick it is recommended that you take a shower. Pets that have been exposed should also be bathed.

Lyme disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics and most people completely recover. Some people may be left with joint pain that can be treated with medication.

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