Officials warn against tick bites as summer comes to a close

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By: CBS News
September 4, 2017

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 was treated for Lyme disease two years ago. A tick was spotted on him by his mother, followed by a fever and the telling “bulls eye” mark on his skin.

“He was covered from head to toe”, Laura recalls from the family’s ill-fated experience.

Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine says preventing tick bites is critical, especially in the Spring, Summer and early Fall when ticks are most active.

Dr. Hotez continues, “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.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say almost all cases of Lyme disease occur in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest. The tick that transmits Lyme Disease can also spread Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. There's also a tick that transmits Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

The symptoms are not always specific, and can range from fevers, rashes and even headaches.

Dr. Dyan Hes of Gramercy Pediatrics says the best protection is to use insect repellent with more than twenty percent DEET and wear the right clothing in tall grasses (long sleeves, pants tucked into socks and shoes).

Fortunately for the Solin-Valdina family, Leto’s Lyme Disease was successfully treated with antibiotics. Today, he is a happy and healthy growing boy.

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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