MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - The Mercer County Health Department is reporting a 300% increase in Lyme Disease cases over the last 30 days. They blame the rise on the increased foot traffic in areas where ticks are thriving.
People are eager to get outdoors due to the loosening of CDC guidelines. Bonnie Allen is an RN at the Mercer County Health Department. She says that people can suffer from long term health issues if Lyme Disease isn't caught in time.
"You could see heart issues, they can have joint pain off and on, they can have bell's palsy where one side of their face the nerves are affected and there's a facial droop."
The bugs aren't just ticking off humans, according to Assistant Veterinarian Ariel Nash. Who told me that for pets, Lyme disease kills if it goes undiagnosed for too long.
"One day their front right leg is going to be all limped and not being able to put any pressure on it. And then maybe the next day or a couple of days after it will be their back left leg. They'll be limping on that. Also, another thing we look for is temperatures. If they are limping, then we will check their temperature."
Doctors and Vets both say if you or your pet are having abnormal symptoms after discovering a tick on your body, you should see a doctor right away. But, the experts say prevention is the best way to keep yourself and your furry friends away from possible health risks.