JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Doctors have just discovered a tick-borne illness that could be mistaken for Lyme disease. Borrelia Miyamotoi is a bacteria carried by deer ticks but unlike Lyme disease, the infection does not cause a rash making it difficult to diagnose. Currently, doctors are treating the illness with the same antibiotics they use to treat Lyme disease. For Habitat Biologist, Lou Hausman with the Arkansas Game and Fish, protecting himself from ticks is part of the job.
"Anytime you get in areas with high weeds and grass, that's the natural habitat for ticks and chiggers," said Hausman.
In order to protect himself, Hausman has a routine he follows before going out into the woods.
"I'll tuck my jeans inside my boots whether they be rubber or leather boots and I'll spray from my belt down with permanone on my blue jeans and my boots," said Hausman.
For those areas that aren't covered he recommends a specific bug spray.
"Where skin is exposed you don't want anything to bite you," said Hausman. "You can spray yourself with Deep Woods Off, that's what I use."
If you do start to feel something bite you should act quickly.
"They're going to stay on you as long as they possibly can so that's why I emphasis that you need to locate them and get them off of you as quick as possible," said Hausman.
However, if you do get bit, Hausman recommends treating the bit after you've removed the tick.
"Personally, I apply a little alcohol to help kill any bacteria," said Hausman.