Lyme disease numbers much worse than previously thought - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lyme disease numbers much worse than previously thought

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The most common disease carried by ticks in the country is now affecting even more people than experts once thought.

The centers for disease control said Lyme disease is affecting ten times more people than they previously thought.

Simply taking a stroll out in the wilderness can lead to the tick-bound bacterial illness. Experts are now saying every year, about 300,000 Americans are infected.

To get the disease you have to be bit by a tick that's carrying it. National park rangers in the mountain state said West Virginia is not one of the states with the most cases of the disease but that doesn't mean it's not a problem in the mountain state.

Robin Snyder with National Parks Service said "We do have deer ticks and other types of ticks so you really want to make sure that you're taking precautions when you're outside and playing and enjoying and recreating and also that you're really wanting to check yourself closely afterward and your pets.

If you do take a walk in the woods make sure to stay on a clear path you're more likely to get bit by a tick if you're brushing up to leaves and tree's like these.

"Wear long pants and shirts if you can... There is also repellant out there. From what I understand these ticks are out and about this season," Snyder said.

CDC experts said one reason for the drastic change in disease rates is because if you don't know you were bit - it's a hard thing to diagnose.

And it only takes a couple of hours after being bit to get infected with Lyme disease or a number of other diseases.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and sometimes a rash.

If you see a tick on you or someone else it's important that you remove it with tweezers as close to the skin's surface as possible.