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Lyme disease on the rise

Canandaigua, N.Y. George and Joan Reineke have been lucky over their 13 years in Canandaigua. They have never been bitten by a tick or had their dog suffer tick bites.

It hasnt really affected us, as (residents) here, said George Reineke.

But elsewhere in their community, it has happened a lot. Especially this year. At least 20 confirmed cases of Lyme disease have been reported by the Ontario County Health Department.

There are 73 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Monroe County so far in 2013, there were 40 in all of 2012, according to records.

You really need to protect yourself using proactive clothing, said Mary Beer, Director of Public Health for Ontario County.

While health departments investigate each human case of Lyme disease, it is unclear where the ticks are from, making it tough to judge if Lyme disease is more prevalent there or elsewhere.

You can go camping in another county and then come back. So, thats why its really important (to) check, said Beer.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that comes from being bitten by an infected deer tick, according to the New York State Department of Health. If left untreated, it can cause a host of health problems including heart disease, facial paralysis, encephalitis, according to Beer.

It can be treated with antibiotics.

While this can be interpreted to mean a lot more Lyme it may or may not be the case, said John Ricci, spokesman for the Monroe County Health Department. The department has done a lot of outreach related to Lyme disease with local physicians, which could indicate that doctors are more sensitive to its presence and are testing more for Lyme disease, according to Ricci.

 
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