Spring weather is a signal to get back outside after a long winter of cabin fever, especially given lockdowns associated with the pandemic. But it also signals the beginning of tick season—and with it, a return of patients seeking assessment and treatment for bites that could cause Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. COVID-19 actually complicates this, as well, in that some of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease (such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches) have also been associated with the virus. So, taking a thorough history that encompasses exposure not only to outdoor areas where ticks are commonly found but also to humans is essential. Ensure your urgent care center is stocked with ample testing supplies, and that your team is up to speed on both testing and treatment options. There’s an article in the JUCM archives that could serve as a refresher; read Urgent Care Diagnosis and Management of Tick-Borne Diseases for more.

Welcome to Tick Season. This One Is Going to Be More Complicated Than Usual