Preventing and treating Lyme disease

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It is a routine Kathy Wallace of Baldwinsville knows all too well.

She is in for her monthly check up with Dr. Steven Bock.

Wallace has been living with Lyme Disease for close to a decade.

"Most people don't know that they've been bit by a tick. So, if you do notice that you're having symptoms of exhaustion, of fever aches and pains, any types of chills, then you get to a doctor and have yourself tested for Lyme," Wallace said.

Kathy is not alone.

The CDC reports around 300,000 cases a year in the U.S.

The latest numbers for Onondaga County are from 2015, which show 127 reported cases.

Experts say this year could be bad.

"I have had people come in with more ticks now than I have ever seen," Dr. Steven Bock said.

Dr. Steven Bock has taken a special interest in Lyme disease and has been treating it for 30 years.

He travels from downstate to Syracuse to treat patients.

He said the number of cases in Central New York is on the rise.

"Observation of yourselves or you children every day because you want to catch that tick before it latches on. Now, the CDC says it's got to be on for 24 to 48 hours. I've found it can transmit Lyme as early as six hours," Dr. Bock said.

Dr. Bock said Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose.

The majority of people do not even know they have been bitten by a tick.

Also, the symptoms are similar to several other illnesses and the testing for it can be unreliable.

"Don't think it can't happen to you because it can. You want to stay out of tall grass. Ticks like to live in tall grass. They don't jump, they don't fly, they crawl. They crawl from the bottom up, so really your legs are key in protection," Wallace said.

Protecting your family and yourself from a small bug that can cause big trouble.

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