Tips to protect your family from Lyme disease - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Tips to protect your family from Lyme disease

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The Hopwood family has been battling Lyme disease for years. Dad Mark was first to be infected in 2010.

"Noticed I would get dizzy and fatigued," he said. "I was bedridden, then they finally diagnosed me."

His wife and two children were diagnosed years later.

"It's been a really long road for us," Betsy Hopwood said.

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study reviews decades of research on how to control the black-legged tick that transmits the disease and prevent bites.

"It's very difficult. Ticks are very small," said Dr. Mayla Hsu of the Global Lyme Alliance.

Hsu says people need to be vigilant about wearing long sleeves, socks, shoes and repellent.

"Taking showers after being outdoors, and checking ourselves, our children, our pets for the presence of ticks," Hsu said.

Researchers recommend homeowners take steps to keep ticks out of their yards. Getting rid of leaves and spraying insecticides can lower the number of ticks by about 80 percent.

The Hopwoods live in a wooded area and are very aware of what they need to do.

"Don't be in the woods and then just go to bed. Take a shower, wash your clothes. Be cautious," Hopwood said.

And watch for symptoms including pain, fatigue and headaches, because the earlier Lyme is treated, the better.

The Global Lyme Alliance says while Lyme disease is prevalent in the Northeast and upper Midwest, it has been reported in all 50 U.S. states.

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