How to avoid mosquito or tick-borne illnesses this spring

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Warmer weather is here, and we're spending more time outdoors.

Lewis-Gale family nurse practitioner Andre Douglas offers tips to prevent mosquito or tick-borne illnesses.

That puts us at a greater risk of getting bitten by a mosquito or tick, which can lead to serious diseases like Lyme's Disease, West Nile Virus or Zika Virus.

The state health department just reported that there are 13 cases of Zika virus here in Virginia, with two of those in Southwest Virginia.

Here are some symptoms to watch out for, when it comes to Lyme's Disease. A rash may appear within three to 30 days, typically before the onset of fever. The Lyme disease rash is the first sign of infection. It'ss usually a circular rash.

For West Nile Virus, about one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Symptoms of Zika virus in most people include things like fever, headache and fatigue.

Andre Douglas is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Lewis-Gale. She suggests arming yourself with a bug repellant that contains deet, if you're going to be outdoors for a long period of time.

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