Lyme disease-carrying ticks found in the Santa Monica Mountains

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Source of this article: The Ventura County Star, April 11, 2013

Ticks at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills recently tested positive for Lyme  disease, authorities said Thursday.

Three pools of western black-legged ticks found along the Coyote Trail were  found to be positive, according to the Santa Monica Mountains National  Recreation Area.

Paramount Ranch was one of three Santa Monica Mountains park sites that came  back positive for Lyme disease, officials said in a statement Thursday. The  other two locations were Tapia Park and Malibu Creek State Park.

Tests were conducted by the Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-Borne  Disease Control District.

Officials said the finding is a reminder for visitors to stick to the trails  and avoid vegetation areas, where the ticks live. The public should check  clothing and exposed skin before heading home, making sure to brush off small  creatures.

Wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants also is  recommended.

Lyme disease can start as a mild flu-like illness and develop into severe  chronic health problems over time, according to the statement. If identified  early, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

About 1 percent or 2 percent of western black-legged ticks in the area carry  the Lyme disease bacteria, officials said. This type of tick is most active from  late November through May.

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