OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — It’s been hot and sunny lately, which is the perfect excuse to be outside and enjoy outdoorsy activities. 

But it’s also a time to beware of ticks, especially now because experts say Lyme disease cases have spiked in the area. 

You can get it from being outside or around farm animals. 

But just because you spot one on yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you have Lyme disease. So, how can you tell if you have it? Medical officials say you typically notice a rash and experience a number of health issues. Those may include flu-like symptoms, body aches, and cardiovascular problems. Medical officials say if you think you have Lyme disease, the sooner you get treatment, the better. 

“So the importance is if we let it go, we may live with that disease for a little while. We may not feel well, we write it off to “I’m getting older, or I have a little joint pain. I’m getting up in the morning a little more difficult.” But then it can lead to some more problems. Cardiovascular, and those could be more scary. Where the Lyme disease has progressed into the body. So getting it seen early, treated early, has a better outcome.”

Howard Gamble, Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

If you do find a tick on you, medical officials say remove it properly and go to your primary care doctor. 

You can wear long sleeve shirts and pants to prevent you from ticks. 

They also recommend checking yourself regularly for ticks.