Temperatures are rising and warmer weather offers opportunities for friends and family to visit picnics and barbecues, swim in backyard pools and enjoy the fire pit.
However, warmer temperatures also bring in other visitors – ticks – that can cause the disease.
While ticks can spread a range of diseases, this season's major concern is Lyme disease, which is caused by the bite of an infected, black-legged tick caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. also known as deer tick.
Locally, the State Department of Health reported a further increase in reported cases of Lyme. From 201
Westmoreland County also jumped from 87 cases in 2012 to 577 cases five years later. Greene County experienced the smallest jump in the four-district region from four cases in 2012 to 24 cases in 2016.
"Subjectively, I would say there are more tick-borne diseases this year," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Frye, UPMC East emergency physician and MD at MedExpress, a neighborhood healthcare provider with offices throughout the region. "I definitely take more ticks from the people."
MedExpress reports an increase in ticks and Lyme-related visits from 2016 to 2017 by 18 percent in its 250 centers in 19 states. In the past, MedExpress had the most dramatic increases in March and April, with June seeing more visits than any other month.
Last year, MedExpress noted that its centers in Pennsylvania serve the second highest number of state visits with ticks and Lyme disease – to Massachusetts only.
Insect-borne diseases are of such significant concern that the Center for Disease Control this month is warning of its continued increase.
The Agency reported the disease in the Agency's report Mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled between 2004 and 2016, with 640,000 reported cases and nine new germs in that period.
Ticks alone have doubled their numbers with seven new tick-borne germs. The last 12 years, according to reports
According to the CDC, more people are now at risk of trafficking, moving mosquitoes, ticks and fleas around the world , In addition, infected travelers can introduce and spread germs around the world.
The matter is even worse, the CDC said the US is not fully prepared to solve the problem. The agency suggested that local and state health departments must increasingly respond to these threats but are unable to deal with these threats. More than 80 percent of the responsible authorities report that they need improvements and additional resources to educate the public on how to prevent bites and germs transmitted by these pests.
Frye Suggested Everybody Find a Tick somewhere Do not try to remove it yourself, but seek medical help right away. A doctor can safely remove the tick by ensuring that the entire tick is removed and the tick type is identified so that the appropriate treatment can be followed. In addition, a doctor can determine how long the tick is already there, how much it is contaminated, which is important for the transmission of germs and diseases.
In general, Lyme disease, which passes by a tick, can leave a bullae rash area of the bite within 30 days. However, Frye said other patients develop an elevated rash in areas other than the bite site.
Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, pain and other symptoms that are often mistaken for viral infections such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis. Joint pain and muscle pain are often mistaken for other types of arthritis. Some patients also seek medical help for stroke symptoms such as facial paralysis or Bell's palsy on one or both sides, memory problems or difficulty concentrating. Some patients reported photophobia or photosensitivity, according to Frye.
If Lyme disease is detected early, it can be treated with prophylactic antibiotics, so it is necessary to see a doctor.
Nevertheless, experts say prevention is the best strategy. The first line of defense against Lyme disease is to take precautionary measures when wearing DEET outdoor insect repellent clothing, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, checking clothes and immediately and immediately removing ticks and showering shortly after exposure  where ticks can be found is also helpful. Frye said while ticks can be found in the brush and leaves in the area, a variety of hosts can carry ticks, including mice, rabbits, deer and our four-legged friends, dogs and cats.
Although the time for vigilance In the summer, when ticks are most active, Frye said that people in Pennsylvania should exercise caution throughout the year.
"I removed ticks in February," he said.
For more information on Tick Bite Prevention and Lyme Disease, visit the Ministry of Health's website at www.health.pa.gov and look for Lyme disease.