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      Tick season is a few weeks early

      Many people have been talking about mushroom hunting or taking a leisurely walk in the woods as the Easter weekend approaches. But one thing you'll want to be careful of when you come home from a day outside is looking for ticks on your body.

      Ticks are more active right now because of the recent warm temperatures and that means taking more precautions.

      "Primary concern is making sure they get the tick out. Use a tweezer or some form of pinching device. Pinch as close to the skin as they can, right along the scalp, the armpit, groin are the most common areas. Try not to twist or break the head off, but to pull it straight out," Jeanette Kamp, a nurse practitioner with the Hannibal Regional Medical Group said.

      Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease are two of the most common illnesses associated with tick bites.

      Symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain.

      But some of the symptoms can mask other illnesses and some people may shrug off the symptoms thinking they have a touch of the flu, when in fact it's something more serious.

      "If you know you're going to be in the wooded areas or in some tall grass, ticks can also be in tree's, they don't jump or fly, but they can fall on you. You should wear protective long sleeves, protective long pants," Kamp said.

      The tick season is well underway and you can expect it to last past Labor Day. So make sure when you're outside, make sure you check yourself for any unusual bumps to avoid any sickness that can be tick related.

      If by chance you do find a tick on you and you begin to suffer from any of the above mentioned symptoms, Kamp said you need to be treated within five days.

      The Adams County Illinois Health Department said they had two reported cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in 2011 and only one case of Lyme Disease reported in 2010.

      Meanwhile the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said they're currently investigating two cases of suspected Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the St, Louis area.