Lyme disease has spread to all 50 states, report says

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Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, has been detected in all 50 states and cases are still increasing.

It is an inflammatory disease that is caused by a blacklegged tick bite, also known as a deer tick. Nearly six million blood tests have been taken over the course of seven years and data shows the number of positive results is rapidly increasing, according to newly released analysis from Quest Diagnostics reported by CBS New York.

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics if it is detected early on, but it can cause severe complications in the nervous system if it is not.

The disease is characterized by a bulls eye shaped rash, flu -like symptoms and fatigue. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended a few tips to protect you and your family:

  • Avoid wooded or brushy areas with high grass
  • Shower or bathe as soon as you come in from outdoors
  • Examine clothing, gear and pets
  • Use tick repellent
  • If you have been exposed to a tick bite, examine your body or the area using a full body or hand held mirror.

For more information on Lyme disease prevention, testing, symptoms and more, www.cdc.gov.

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