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With spring in the air, doctors warn NRV is ideal for ticks

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ROANOKE (WSLS10) - With spring in the air, people hit the great outdoors, but we're not the only ones out and about. Doctors said before you go outside there's important information you need to know about ticks.

"Working this weekend, I saw a couple of people with tick bites already,' said Carilion pediatrician Dr. John Moore. "As it gets nicer, people do tend to get outside more."

Moore said so far this year, he's seen about 10 people with tick bites.

Tick season officially starts May 1; however, doctors across the Valley are seeing a rise in tick bites because, of the warm weather. This puts people and their pets at a higher risk of coming in contact with a tick.

"Deer ticks and American dog ticks are the ones that we see the most," said Veterinarian Marybeth Chaconas who works at Mountain View Humane in Roanoke. "They have the potential for carrying disease. The deer ticks in particular are a problem because; they are super, super tiny."

Chaconas and Moore also said that ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mount spotted fever and bacteria that can cause skin infections.

Unfortunately, areas within our region are prone to host the creepy-crawly critters.

"The most prevalent for tick bites and tick infections tend to be in the New River Valley than around here," said Moore.

In 2015, the Virginia Department of Health reported a total of 233 Lyme disease cases in the New River Valley.

That number is significantly less in Roanoke city and county with a total of 25 cases last year.

Doctors added you can decrease your chances of getting bite by a tick by wearing bug repellent and appropriate clothing like tall socks when heading outdoors.