Disease-Carrying Ticks Are On the Rise. Here's How to Safeguard Yourself.

Last Updated by Steph Crane on

Since 2000, Pennsylvania has had the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the country. A new study conducted by Penn State researchers suggests that number might increase.

Researchers found that the black-legged tick, the most common carrier of Lyme disease, is now the dominant species of tick in the state.

Assistant research professor Joyce Sakamoto was part of the research team that examined 117 years of tick samples. She said, "The shift is caused by regrowth, following the clear cutting of forests more than a century ago. More recently as we've been reforesting, these species have come back."

Sakamoto says finding and removing ticks within 24 hours is the best way to avoid Lyme and other diseases.

"The number one thing is not so much what you can do before hand, but what you do afterwards. That is before you get in your car, you check yourself. Then you go home, you take a shower, and you check yourself again."

Black-legged ticks can also carry other viruses including Spotted Fever and Babesiosis.

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