Last week, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health put hikers on alert after discovering two ticks infected with Lyme disease. It was the first time since 1991 that ticks in the area have tested positive for the disease.
Here's what you need to know, from the report:
Typical symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue and a rash resembling a bull's eye that appears near the site of the bite. [A]n infected tick, after burrowing through the skin, usually must be attached and feeding on its host for at least 12 to 48 hours before it can spread the bacteria.
If you're planning on hiking in the area, make sure to apply bug repellent before heading into the woods. It's also vital to perform a tick check upon exiting. If you find a small critter latched on your skin, grab it with a pair of tweezers as close to your skin as possible without jerking or twisting it. (Apparently, some attempt to use a lit match to light the sucker on fire. Don't do that.) If you can, save the tick so that it can be examined.
If you end up contracting the disease, don't panic. Treatment with antibiotics during the first stages of the disease is highly successful. The key is seeking treatment as soon as possible.