The 2017 season could be the worst ever for tick-borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A report from NBC DFW said the primary cause was a drastic rise in the tick population, which has been blamed on a mild winter that allowed for breeding during months when ticks are usually dormant.

Campers, hikers and folks who spend time outdoors should check the following areas when they return, the CDC said:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside the belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around all head and body hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Ticks can be pulled off with tweezers, according to NBC DFW, but those who have been bitten by ticks should undergo blood tests to determine if they have been exposed to Lyme Disease or other illnesses like the Powassan Virus.

Lyme Disease frequently presents flu-like symptoms. Many times, people infected with the Powassan Virus develop no symptoms. However, the infection can cause permanent neurological damage, in some cases, and can be fatal.

To read more about preventing tick-borne illnesses, click here.