How to avoid getting Lyme disease around Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Now that Cleveland has broken free from winter, and warmer temperatures are here, many will head outdoors.  As you grab your sunglasses and keys, you may want to grab insect repellent with DEET as well.

Cleveland Clinic Doctor Alan Taege says Lyme disease has skyrocketed in our state over the last five years.

"We used to average about 40 cases per year, and now we're approaching 150 or more," Dr. Taege said.

That's just the number of cases doctors send into the CDC. Because of that, they think the number is actually about ten times higher -- that means about 1,500 people in Ohio get Lyme disease every year.

"You have to wear a cap and long sleeves, and check for ticks," said father of two, Jason Vieaux.

Which is exactly what Dr. Taege suggests, along with wearing insect repellent with DEET.

"When you come back, you should always do a tick check. Search your body over.  No, you can't see the back of your neck or your scalp.  Hopefully there's someone around who can help you," said Dr. Taege.

If you are bitten by a tick, make sure to remove the whole tick, including its head.

Lyme disease symptoms won't show up for five to seven days.

You may feel tired and achy, almost like the flu, and of course keep an eye out for that signature bulls-eye rash.

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