Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people each year.
Now, new research looks at the best way to prevent getting bit by ticks that transmit the disease.
The Hopwood family is one of many who have been battling lyme diseaes for years, as the father, Mark, was bit and infected in 2010.
“Noticed I would get dizzy and fatigued,” Hopwood said. “It’s been a really long road for us.”
“It’s very difficult,” said Mayla Hsu, of the Global Lyme Alliance. “Ticks are very small.”
Hsu said people need to be vigilant about wearing long sleeves, socks, shoes and insect repellent, as well as taking showers and washing their clothes after they return from an outdoor activity.
Of course, it’s also essential to check yourself, your children and pets for ticks.
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 to prevent tick bites.
“Don’t be in the woods and then just go to bed,” said Betsy Hopwood. “Take a shower, wash your clothes. Be cautious.”
Also watch for symptoms including pain, fatigue and headaches, because the earlier Lyme is treated, the better.
The Global Lyme Alliance said that while Lyme disease is prevalent in the northeast and upper Midwest, it has been reported in all 50 states.