Some symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to COVID-19, health officials say

Pa. health officials are warning to watch for tick bites during an especially bad season. They also say some symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to COVID-19.

Joy Shugrue has been doing lots of hiking with her husband and dog since the coronavirus pandemic started. A few weeks ago, she began to have a slight fever.

"I had aches and I wasn't feeling well," she said.

Her aches were discovered to be Lyme Disease, but she was worried because her symptoms (fever, chills, and headache) were very similar to that of COVID-19. Shugrue still ensured that she didn’t contract the disease.

"I did get tested and was happy to get a negative test result back," Joy said.

The Pennsylvania Health Department is warning people to watch for tick bites, as it is going to be a very bad tick season.

"The ticks are in the high grass. we would never really walk through here with the dog. He would get it. There's ticks all through that stuff. There's deer in here. There's ticks everywhere." said Gary Shugrue, Joy’s husband.

After the trails at Valley Forge State Park recently opened, lots of people are taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Many are aware of the high numbers of ticks and the probability of contracting Lyme Disease.

"I do a tick check before I get into my car..other than that, I also take a shower, pretty sure I catch them at that point as well,” said Jason Mitchell of Philadelphia. 

Officials say that regular checks are advised, but the Madera family is taking protection a step further by wearing special neck scarves. 

"They are infused with permethrin which kills ticks within seconds of contact," said Kristen Medera. "It's something we really watch out for."