Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Whispyhistory
Lyme Disease rash on the leg of someone who went camping. 2022.

Summer is on the way — and so are the hazards that come along with it, among them tick bites that cause Lyme Disease.

The state of New Jersey is the second-hardest hit state in the US when it comes to Lyme Disease, according to an analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – but New York is not far behind.


According to the findings of the study – an analysis by the Special Reports Team at — New Jersey had 12,237 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease between 2016 and 2019, second only to Pennsylvania (32,921 cases).

New York ranked third on the list, with 11,418 cases of Lyme Disease.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and its important to remember that the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease can be transmitted through a single bite by an infected deer tick (also known as “blacklegged tick) that burrows into the skin.

Such ticks can attach to both humans and dogs – so be sure to check your pet/s if you have any.

“The early symptoms are the ones where you may have the neck stiffness, the muscle aches, a low-grade fever, the change in appetite, that tends to be in that early phase where this tick has bitten us and put that bacteria into our skin,” said Cleveland Clinic Dr. Dan Sullivan.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York all have high populations of white-tailed deer, the primary hosts of adult blacklegged ticks, as well as large wooded and grassy areas, where the ticks are commonly found.

Symptoms can include headaches, breathing issues, or arthritis. More serious complications can occur as well, like inflammation of the heart muscle, spinal cord swelling, or facial paralysis.

Ticks like to hide in high grass, so keep the lawn mowed, and hedges trimmed, Sullivan advises.

When going into the woods, cover up exposed skin with clothing. Insect repellant containing DEET can also be used to help protect exposed skin.

After being in heavily wooded areas, do a tick check. It’s important to look behind knees, under arms and on the scalp.

If you find a tick, carefully remove it with tweezers. And if bitten, watch for a small red spot that may develop into a distinctive bullseye rash.

“That bacteria, which is in the saliva, starts to multiply and that causes the expanding rash beyond that initial red mark,” said Dr. Sullivan.

“As the bacteria expands under our skin, the center, that initial red spot starts to fade so it looks a little bit like a bullseye.”

If you are experiencing symptoms or notice a bullseye rash, see a physician.

Sullivan noted that if caught early, Lyme disease can generally be cured when treated with antibiotics.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.