'Tis the season for ticks: What you need to know before taking a walk in the woods

MILWAUKEE -- IF you see a tick -- it's time to act quick! Experts are warning this summer could be back for ticks, so you need to protect yourself and your family. Dr. Richard Lusis and Aurora Health Care joins Real Milwaukee to talk about preventing tick bites.

What are some symptoms people should watch for?
• Flu-like symptoms
• Chills, fever, fatigue, joint pain
• A rash shaped like a bull`s-eye

Is this a serious condition?
If Lyme disease isn`t diagnosed early, it can spread to different parts of the body. Weeks, months or even years later, patients may develop problems with the brain or nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system and skin. We could consider these patients to have chronic Lyme disease.

What should someone do if they find a tick on themselves?
A deer tick needs to attach itself for about 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, so it`s important to do 'tick checks' any time you`ve been out in a wooded or grassy area. If you find a tick, use a tweezers to grab the tick by the head and make sure you get the whole body when you pull it off. You can actually bring the tick in to the doctor with you to have it tested for Lyme disease. If it`s found to be positive, you`d be started on a course of antibiotics.

How can someone avoid getting bitten by ticks?
If you`re in wooded areas, wear hiking boots, long pants and long sleeve shirts. It`s also easier to spot ticks crawling on you in light-colored clothing. You can also use a tick repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET to repel ticks.

What should someone do if they are having problems and suspect Lyme?
Definitely make a call to your doctor and go in for some tests. As I said, Lyme is often misdiagnosed as something else, so it`s important to share the symptoms you`re having with your doctor to make sure you`re getting a proper diagnosis.