Ohio Health Department warns of increase in ticks, diseases this summer

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UNION COUNTY, Ohio - They're out there. You're out there. Sooner or later, you're bound to see a tick.

"Throughout the country and the state of Ohio there's been an increase in the tick population," Allison Zandarski said.

Zandarski is an epidemiologist with the Union County Health Department. She says the reason is unclear why the number of tick-related health issues continues to go up. However, she hopes by talking about it, now, it will help reduce exposure.

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"One, we're seeing the increase is not only ticks, but the diseases they cause," she said. "Two, the more you hear it, the more you're going to watch for it."

According to the Ohio Department of Health there were 58 cases of Ohioans being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2009. By 2014, that number jumped to 119. In 2018, there were 293 cases of Lyme disease in the state.

Officials say they expect even more this year.

Zandarski says the Ohio Department of Health stresses for people to Protect, Check, Remove and Watch. It also suggests to wear repellent, check for ticks daily, shower soon after being outdoors and to call your doctor if you get a fever or rash following a tick bite.

"The sooner you get treatment, the better," Zandarski said.

More information about ticks, the diseases they're known to carry and how you can better protect yourself and your family, click here.

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