Locating ticks in a poppy-seed muffin is certainly a unique way to make a point, but give the Center for Disease Control (CDC) credit.  This definitely drives home just how small and hard to detect these arachnids can be. Actually, finding the five ticks on this muffin is not that hard, just look for the only 'poppy seeds' with 8 legs in the center of the picture.

Ticks are at the very least annoying, and at the most, deadly.  Usually when someone mentions the word tick, the two things that most quickly come to mind are 'blood suckers' and 'Lyme Disease'.

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The number of confirmed and probable cases of this potentially debilitating sickness varies greatly depending on which agency you believe.  The CDC relies on a very stringent set of guidelines before a case of Lyme Disease is labeled as confirmed.  As a result, data from the CDC shows that between 2008-2015, all of East Texas (Tyler and Longview included) averaged one yearly confirmed case of Lyme Disease.

However, Tick Check, a university affiliated lab based in Pennsylvania, shows the number to be radically higher.  Between 2000-2016, their findings indicate over 45 confirmed cases in East Texas, with Angelina County accounting for over 30% of those cases.

Regardless of which data you subscribe to, tick bites can be very worrisome, and it's a good idea after outdoor excursions to do thorough checks of yourself and loved ones.  It's also a good idea to know the specific signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease.  Many times, initial symptoms can mimic other indicators that may lead to a flu misdiagnosis.