CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – For the first time ever, the Clark County Combined Health District is reporting cases of Lyme disease that were contracted in Clark County.

Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County is also reporting one case of Lyme disease since June, but CCCHD said they have five.

“We know that it’s out there, so I think you have to take that in consideration and take every tick bite seriously,” said Dr. Andrew Gantzer with Kettering Health Network.

Larry Shaffer, CCCHD’s Director of Environmental Health, said for the first time ever the black-legged tick, or deer tick, that carries the disease is in Clark County.

“We have five cases, and four out of five have not left the county in the last couple months so we know that these individuals contracted Lyme disease here in Clark County,” said Shaffer.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, muscle aches, headaches, joint pain, and a rash in the shape of a bullseye.

“Left unchecked, it can lead to some longstanding neurological conditions,” said Gantzer.

They know during the pandemic, many are hiking or enjoying the outdoors. They encourage you when outside to wear deet or another EPA approved bug spray.

“The ticks that spread the disease are the baby ones, they’re less than 2 millimeters in size so it’s important that when we return back from outdoor activity that we inspect ourselves and our children very closely,” said Shaffer.

And Shaffer said if you do find a tick buried into your skin, don’t do any old wives tale tricks like using a burning match or nail polish.

“You want to take a pair of tweezers, grab the tick between its body and your skin and pull straight upwards,” said Shaffer. “Don’t crush the body while it’s head is buried in your skin or else you’ll force the contents inside you.”