As summer nears, state health officials are once again urging people to beware of ticks now. The insects are already out, and many of them carry several diseases that could harm humans, including Lyme Disease.
A higher number of people than is typical visited emergency departments across the state in March and April for tick bites, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In May, visits appeared to return to more normal levels.
Still, state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said ticks are a danger every year and will be with us through December.
"Unless you're standing in the middle of Commonwealth Ave., which I don't recommend that you do, literally, you are at risk of being bitten by ticks pretty much everywhere you go in Massachusetts," she said.
The best way to protect yourself outside, she added, is to wear long sleeves, pants and repellant. Be sure to check your body for ticks once a day, too.