New tick-borne disease makes its way to the U.S. - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

New tick-borne disease makes its way to the U.S.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- According to health reports, a new tick-borne illness that could be worse than Lyme disease has made its way to the United States.

The first case of Borrelia Miyamotoi was reported in Japan in 1995, but one of the first cases in the U.S. was found this year in Massachusetts.

Borrelia Miyamotoi is similar to Lyme disease as it, too, comes from a deer tick found in wooded areas, according to Dr. Ronald Stram, MD of Integrative Medicine. The symptoms, however, have a more severe impact on the neurological system.

"Sudden onset of confusion, word search problems, memory loss, and headache," Dr. Stram said.

He added there isn't a reliable test, yet, to detect this strain, but that doesn't mean people aren't catching it.

"We may have seen cases but instead have diagnosed them with some sort of chronic persistent infection," he said.

Kristen Torpey of Guilderland told the NEWS CENTER that even while using bug spray on her children the blood sucking bugs are still a problem.

"We find a ton of ticks," she said. "In their belly buttons; in the back of their hair, so we're really conscious it is a big problem."

According to the Columbia County Health Department, no cases Borrelia Miyamotoi have been definitively diagnosed in the area, but that's probably because of the lack of a definitive test.

"We have five kids, so I mean that's obviously a huge concern," Torpey said." "This other thing I've never even heard of it. You know how quickly that could cause problems is very concerning."

This new disease is also being treated with antibiotics, like Lyme disease. Dr. Stram said most people don't know when a tick actually bites them, so it's always good to check after being outside.

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