As Iowans go hiking, fishing and camping on this Memorial Day, they might encounter ticks and the potential for lyme disease. Judith Weeg, co-director of the Iowa Lyme Disease Association, suggests folks who are spending a lot of time outdoors conduct frequent tick checks on themselves.
Weeg says, "Check in the crevices of your body like behind the ears. A tick can be anywhere on the body. If you find a tick, take tweezers with you on the camping trip, pull the tick straight out and then watch for some symptoms." She says those symptoms are varied.
Weeg says symptoms, including a rash, may appear from 48 hours to several weeks after an infected tick bite and are often flu-like symptoms like fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache, fever, chills, swollen glands, sore throat and stiff neck.
Weeg has some suggestions on how to protect yourself from ticks. Wear light colored clothing so you can see a tick readily. Pull your socks over your pantlegs to keep a tick from crawling in. Wear a long sleeve shirt and a hat. She also suggests using an insect repellent. For more information, visit www.iowalymedisease.com .