Health officials warn of more ticks; increased risk of Lyme Disease

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LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Douglas Doerschuck loves being able to play under the summer sun. He, his brother and their squirt guns.

They spend a lot of time running through the grass at their campsite in Lake Hallie. All the while, picking up some unwanted friends along the way.

"Jim, he's probably had at least 3 on him," said Amy Doerschuck about the number of ticks she's had to remove from her son.

She says just within the past week their family has had to pick off at least 20 ticks. Even one of their dogs has had five ticks so far.

She says just within the past week, their

"And we've been doing the mud boots and that kind of thing, just to keep the stuff away," she said.

But it is not just the ticks to be worried about. With every bite, there is a risk of Lyme disease. And with the moist, warm weather we have been having, state health officials say we could see more ticks this summer.

Jeff Jackson, a Physician Assistant at Marshfield Clinic Eau Claire Center says deer ticks and bear ticks are the ones to look out for.

"And about 30% of those are projected to be carriers of Lyme disease," Jackson said.

He says tick bites leave a red area but if you end up getting what is referred to as a "bulls-eye rash," one that is bigger than two inches and lighter in the middle, it is suggestive of Lyme disease and you should see a doctor.

Already this summer, he says they have gotten a lot of people who have come to Urgent Care with concerns.

"The last couple weeks we have been seeing an increase in people with tick bites, local reactions, and some with the Erythema migrans or bulls-eye type rash," he said.

He says checking yourself after being outside is essential. Long clothing and repellants are good ideas, too.

"If Lyme disease is left unattended and untreated, it could potentially affect the Nervous System or the Cardiac System, "he said.

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