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The Boston Channel: "..Viranomaisten mukaan suuri osa borrelioositapauksista jää huomioimatta. Todellisia tapauksia on 5 -10 kertaa enemmän kuin raporteissa ilmoitetaan." ... etail.html

Ticks Posing Early Lyme Disease Threat This Year
2,500 Lyme Disease Cases Reported In Mass.

BOSTON -- Ticks are already popping up everywhere in Massachusetts, bringing with them the threat of Lyme disease, according to health officials.

Lyme Disease Risk On Rise

NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that ticks were once relegated to Cape Cod and Western Massachusetts. But more landscapers are finding ticks daily in their clothes and bodies.

"In areas where brush comes in contact with lawn area, in that 10-foot buffer area, that's where you'll find a lot of ticks," said Scott McPhee, Hartney Greymont Landscapers.

Two members of McPhee's crew contracted Lyme disease last season. It can only be transmitted through poppy-seed size deer ticks. Public health officials predict another tough season ahead.

"The state of Massachusetts is one of the top five to 10 states in the country for Lyme disease. It has been for a while," said Dr. Bela Matyas, of the Massachusetts Department Of Public Health.

Concerned with the potential rise of cases, doctors told state officials what they'll need to diagnose and treat patients this year.

"For the last several years we've been getting about 2,500 cases reported per year statewide. But we've been seeing increases in certain communities, and we suspect we'll see those numbers continue to rise," said Matyas.

Experts said to prevent infection, people should cover up as much as possible when outside. They should use insect repellent when near foliage. When hiking, people should stay near the middle of trails and commit to daily tick checks, especially for children. It takes 24 to 48 hours of attachment before an infection can occur.

"As long as this winter was, there are a lot of mild stretches which is when ticks start to come out," said Jim Abusamar of Hartney, Greymont Landscapers.

While 2,500 cases are reported each year, officials believe there are actually five to 10 times more cases that go unreported in Massachusetts.

While there is no definite proof that Lyme disease can result in death, it can lead to severe disability for prolonged periods for many victims.

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