Tickborne diseases are spread through the bite of an infected tick. Many of these diseases can also infect pets. Lyme disease is the most common tickborne disease reported in West Virginia. From 2000-2014, there were over 1,100 cases reported across the state, mostly in the Eastern Panhandle. The number of counties reporting Lyme disease cases has increased in recent years.
Anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rock Mountain spotted fever have also been reported in West Virginia, with about 1-10 cases of each per year.
Tickborne infection can cause a variety of symptoms including fever, headache, chills, myalgia, and rash. Most infections occur from late spring through early fall when ticks (and people and pets) are most active.
The best way to prevent tickborne diseases is to prevent getting bitten by a tick. Using tick repellent, checking one's body and pets for ticks, and properly removing ticks are good prevention methods. Antibiotics are effective in treating tickborne diseases and can prevent severe complications when given early in the course of infection.
For more information see the CDC Tickborne Disease Manual.
Veterinarians participating in the West Virginia Veterinary Tick Submission Project (WVVTSP) have provided valuable information.
Below is an image link to an interactive map with WVVTSP tick identification results. Click on the image and when the map loads, each point will represent the location of a participating veterinary practice. View all submissions by clicking on the tabs across the top and on indvidual counties.