Tick cases on the rise in Douglas County

DOULGAS COUNTY, Mo. - The trails around Clinton Lake are a favorite spot for Russ Hinshaw.

"I like the exercise, I like getting out here in the woods," he said.

He especially likes the shade, but also knows that ticks love the woods too.

"I spray myself with insect repellent and try to stay away from the grass along the sides so I don't pick them up," Hinshaw said.

Shirley Grubbs of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department says that's a good start. She says ticks are most likely found in tall grasses and bushes. But this summer, they seem to be even worse. She's not sure why.

"Actually I have a call in right now to KU's etymology department because we've been asked that question so many times, we'd like to have a definitive answer on it," she said.

No matter the reason, if ticks go undetected and burrow into your skin, they can cause several types of diseases with flu-like symptoms -- mostly treatable with antibiotics. But, Grubbs says a good eye can keep you from getting sick in the first place.

"Typically we say that if you can get the ticks off within the first 24 hours, you don't have to worry about disease. It is important then when you get home or when you're back in the house, that you do a full body check for ticks," Grub said.

A quick check that can make all the difference in keeping you well.

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