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Lyme Disease Group Warns Of Rising Tick Population

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The tiny deer tick is often no larger than the tip of a pencil.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/megankhines/22579158/
The tiny deer tick is often no larger than the tip of a pencil.

Be careful when you go outside for walks. In the last few years the tick population has doubled in some areas around the D.C. metropolitan region and health officials say that could mean a spike in people becoming affected with Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks, although the ticks aren't only present in areas where there are a lot of deer. Most rodents can also carry the ticks.

Gregg Skall of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association says it's a condition you don't want to get.

"They'll get like flu-like symptoms," he says. "They'll get achy joints and that sort of thing, but then the symptoms go away, but the disease doesn't go away."

Monte Skall, also with the region's Lyme Disease Association, says more ticks in the region shouldn't make you change your habits.

"Don't be afraid to go out into the forest and to the meadows and into your yard as long as when you come in you check yourself," she says.

Skall says if you find one attached to you, you should remove it, and have it tested to find out what -– if anything -– the tick is carrying.

Not all ticks carry Lime Disease, but she says as a personal habit, if she finds one on her body, she gets it tested.

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