JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Ticks are no fun. In fact, if you encounter one with Lyme disease, it can be debilitating.
"It's very difficult to treat once it gets into the chronic stages," Kerry Clark said.
Clark, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, has been studying Lyme disease for years. He says the symptoms are often mistaken for fibromyalgia and go under reported. Clark and his crew found two new species of tick that carry the bacteria, which is huge for the southeast.
"For years, people have been told Lyme disease either doesn't exist here or is very rare. And that's not true based on our research findings," he said.
Lyme disease symptoms include headaches, chronic fatigue, muscle pain and nerve problems. Clark says the biggest key is awareness, which is what he hopes to gain through studies. He encourages people to be alert and speak up if they've been bitten by a tick and think they have contracted the illness.
"It can destroy people's lives," he said.
You can get more information from the Northeast Florida Lyme Disease Association. If you find a tick on you or your pet, you can send it in for testing.