MILWAUKEE — If you thought blacklegged deer ticks and the threat of Lyme disease were restricted to the Northwoods or off the beaten path in Wisconsin, it may be time to think again and reconsider the risk statewide.

“It’s really exploded throughout the state,” said Dr. Gregory DeMuri, pediatric infectious disease physician and professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “The northeast part of Wisconsin used to be fairly low in Lyme disease and over the past couple of years, there’s a lot more Lyme disease there. It’s [now] across the Midwest and prevalent in some east coast states as well, so it’s become a national issue.”

Dr. DeMuri said it’s important to know the type of tick to watch out for, along with the types of symptoms that are typically tied to Lyme disease.

“It’s a red rash that oftentimes looks like a ring on the skin,” DeMuri said. “There can be swelling or pain in the joints, drooping of the face and those kinds of things.”

Watch the full interview above.