BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WGGB/AP) — The Center for Disease Control is urging people to keep themselves safe from ticks, which could spread Lyme disease.
“I am definitely more fearful of being outside than I was in the past,” said Beth Knolder, Belchertown.
Knolder got Lyme disease from a tick bite in July of 2009. She developed a rash, started loosing her memory, had joint pain and even has some reoccurring issues four years after. That’s why she doesn’t take ticks lightly.
“The kids know tick checks every night in the summer it’s just the way it is,” said Knolder.
Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported, health officials said Monday.
As many as 300,000 Americans are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.
Usually, only 20,000 to 30,000 illnesses are reported each year. For many years, CDC officials have known that many doctors don’t report every case and that the true count was probably much higher.
Besides checking for ticks people should also check their yard.
Bob Russell, President of American Pest Solutions, says ticks live off small animals, which are typically on the edge of woods or tall grass.
“You have a lot of animal life that travel in the first layer of new grass and new ferns as cover and the ticks are looking for those small animals to latch onto and get moved around a lot,” said Russell.
His company eliminates areas which could house rodents and also uses pesticides to limit the ticks.
Knolder hopes people may attention to the warnings.
“I don’t want other people to go through what I have to go through, cause it really has been life changing,” said Knolder.