Lynchburg, VA - The state health department is now warning medical providers in Virginia that they should consider all tick bite cases as potential Lyme Disease cases.
A letter went out last week urging doctors to assume that any patient exposed to ticks is at risk. The health department says there were more than one thousand confirmed or probable cases last year.
Opinions vary as to how long the tick needs to be attached before the bacteria enters the body. And you can, but don't always get a bulls eye rash with Lyme.
"The symptoms may be very quiet and takes months to develop, and what happens is we think of Lyme as unusual forms of arthritis, unusual forms of nerve palsies, as well as fever, aches and pains," said Dr. Thomas Eppes of Forest Family Physicians.
Eppes says you shouldn't burn the tick or use tweezers to remove it; you should use your fingernails so you don't squeeze it.
And of course, see a doctor immediately if you develop symptoms like a fever or rash.