WATCH: Ticks are living longer and cases of Lyme disease are skyrocketing
LOS ANGELES, CA - How much do you know about Lyme disease? It has common symptoms like fever, headache, and fatigue, but it can also lead to serious health issues like arthritis and neurological disorders. And now your risk of catching it is skyrocketing.
There have been celebrities talking openly about their struggles with the disease- and maybe someone you know has it. Yolanda Foster, Avril Lavigne, Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin have all suffered from it.
Lyme disease, which is carried by ticks, used to be associated with campers and hikers who tracked deep into the darkest woods. Now there are 30,000 new cases reported every year- but the CDC estimates that the number of Americans who develop the disease is actually closer to 300,000. Why are so many people getting it?
Experts say climate change is playing a big part. Warmer winters and extended summers mean ticks are surviving longer- and developing faster- which literally makes them more blood-thirsty.
While some animal species like the penguins, pandas, orangutans, and sea turtles are on the verge of extinction due to climate change and loss of habitat- it turns out certain parasites, ticks, and those Zika carrying mosquitoes are truly thriving in the warmer temperatures.
Since the problem isn't going away, raising awareness is essential. It's difficult to diagnose the disease but if an infected person is treated within 48 hours, Lyme disease can be prevented. So help spread the word- to stop the spread of the disease.