CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As the weather continues to heat up, be on the lookout for ticks.
Experts predict it's going to be a bad season in Northeast Ohio thanks to a cool and drier winter mixed with a warm and wet spring.
"There actually was one time when there was one on my leg. It was so gross. It scared the crap out of me. I couldn't go back to sleep," said Amber Shrigley.
This season, tick sightings are already soaring.
Not only has Shrigley found a tick on herself, she's pulled them off her dog, Izzy.
"In the past we've definitely found them on her," she said.
Ticks can carry Lyme disease.
University Hospitals Dr. Sean Abraham said common early symptoms include:
- bull's-eye rash
Ticks can also transmit more than a dozen other diseases.
"Things like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Babesiosis. There are countless diseases transmitted by ticks, Lyme disease is just the most common one and the most realistic risk that people face if they've had a tick on their body," said Abraham.
Abraham said after spending time outside, people should check themselves, their children and their pets for ticks. He said people shouldn't be too concerned if they find a tick that's been attached for less than 24 hours because there's a pretty low risk it'll turn into Lyme disease."
"It actually takes some time for the disease to be transmitted from the tick to you," he said.
Abraham has never treated a Lyme disease case at U.H. because the disease it rare in northeast Ohio.
"I had a couple ticks on me the other weekend and I got them off right away and I'm not at all worried at catching Lyme disease at this point," he said.
If you find a tick and it's attached the important thing is to make sure you get it all out. The CDC recommends using tweezers to pull the tick straight out. After removing the tick, clean the spot with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Although Lyme disease is rare, according to the CDC, reported cases have nearly tripled over the last 10 years in Ohio. In 2016, there were 122 confirmed cases in the state.