According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. David Goldberg of the Scarsdale Medical Group in New York, more cases of Lyme disease are reported than any other vector-borne illness in the United States.
Cases of tick-borne disease have been steadily rising in the U.S., tripling from reported cases in 1992.
And, the CDC
says, more than a dozen illnesses are transmitted by ticks in the United States.
Far less common than Lyme disease but also carried by the diminutive deer tick, babesiosis is caused by an infection from the parasite Babesia microti.
It thrives in red blood cells and, for those with compromised immune systems, can be fatal.
Less dangerous is ehrlichiosis, which does not have the long-term implications of Lyme but â€œcan make you pretty sickâ€ with flu-like symptoms, Goldberg
â€œThe most important, underpublicized thing about Lyme disease is that the tick has to be attached 24 hours or moreâ€ to transmit the disease, Goldberg said. â€œThat means, if you do a tick check every evening after you come in from outside, and remove the tick then, you cannot get Lyme disease.â€
said everyone should have a sharp pair of tweezers. â€œIf you find a tick that is attached, you grab the tick by the head, gently but firmly, and make sure the entire tick is removed,â€ he
said that, if the tick may have been attached 24 hours or longer, see your doctor.