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# Family Has Lyme Disease Lyme Disease
5 Members Of Family Say They Have Lyme Disease
Mass. Lyme Disease Cases On Rise
POSTED: 5:28 pm EDT June 15, 2007
UPDATED: 6:24 pm EDT June 15, 2007
HAMILTON, Mass. -- A large increase in new cases of Lyme disease cases in Massachusetts is prompting renewed warnings from public health officials.
NewsCenter 5's Lynn Jolicoeur reported that five members of a Hamilton family said they have the disease.
"I had a lot of joint pains -- ankles, knees. With gymnastics, it makes it really hard," said Amanda Getchell, who is undergoing treatment for Lyme disease.
"I would have a hard time remembering things, have headaches very often," said Dan Getchell, who is undergoing treatment for Lyme disease.
Last October, a New Haven, Conn., specialist diagnosed the Getchell siblings with Lyme disease after performing western blot tests. Initial antibody tests had come up negative.
For a year, the siblings were seeing Boston doctors who gave diagnoses from attention deficit disorder to depression to asthma. Amanda said she found a tick stuck in her skin.
"She could not walk up the stairs, carry her book bag, missed the beginning of high school, was so fatigued," mother Barbara Getchell said.
The Getchell's father was diagnosed with Lyme disease 10 years ago. Barbara Getchell said she suffers from joint pain and exhaustion. But she hasn't gone through extensive testing because she said the family is paying for care outside their insurance network that has totaled about $20,000 in the past eight months.
Barbara Getchell said she has learned by word of mouth that hundreds of Hamilton residents have Lyme disease, including several families with multiple people infected. She said many of them are going out of state for treatment.
"You would think that science would be caught up by now. But this particular disease just has it baffled," she said.
The Getchell children have been on antibiotics since October.
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