Tick researcher Sam Telford. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)
SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's that time of year—time to start checking yourself for those creepy, crawly little ticks after doing yard work or taking a walk in the woods.
Infectious disease researcher Sam Telford at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University said that, even after decades of research, Lyme Disease cases continue to rise. But, as he told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe, that's what motivates him in his work.
"Even with all of this work, all we can say about Lyme Disease today is that it continues to increase in incidents and distribution, and that's what drives me to try to change that," he said.
Telford said using a reliable, safe bug spray and checking yourself for ticks often are essential steps for avoiding tick bites.
He says it's also very important to know the symptoms of Lyme Disease, and to see a doctor immediately if you display any of the signs, which include muscle fatigue and fever.
"Recognizing that you have been infected, that is, checking out any fever or muscle ache or any unexplained health issue during the summer, is critical," he said.
If it's caught early enough, the disease can be treatable.
"With untreated Lyme Disease, it can progress—it doesn't necessarily have to progress—to Lyme Arthritis, where you have a big swelling of one joint, one knee or one elbow," he said. "You can also have neurological issues, forgetfulness, or you can have tingling in the fingers."
Telford said that, with the right treatment, even Lyme Arthritis can be cleared up.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports