Battling against Lyme disease

"My first was a tick was from a friend brushing it off in a car while we were together and I was bitten," said Haughie. "Some areas, some houses and some properties will have lots of ticks and some won't."

Haughie said it is also possible for mosquitoes and spiders to carry Lyme disease, so she advised people to be concerned about what disease can be transmitted.

Barbara Moss, a board member of the Empire State Lyme Disease Association, said some doctors can be hesitant to treat the disease because many will just be looking for a rash. She said it is even harder to find a doctor who will treat people with chronic Lyme disease.

"We're looking for doctors who will treat them," she said. "Doctors believe it is more post-lyme syndrome."

Dr. Daniel Cameron, a doctor in Mount Kisko, located in Westchester County, and former president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, said doctors are divided on treating it because many of them are waiting to either see a rash or a positive test come through.

"Some say the tests aren't good and there are other types of symptoms besides a rash," he said. "There are enough of us [doctors] around with the comfort and experience with other Lyme disease presentations."

Some of the most common effects of Lyme disease are extreme fatigue, poor memory, irritability, reduced concentration, numbness in the hands and feet and joint pain. According to a 2010 study published by Cameron, other symptoms can be Bell's palsy, erythema migrans rash, meningitis, arthritis or heat block. It also said that just because those symptoms go away, it doesn't mean there isn't an ongoing infection.

"At least 10 to 15 percent of people with a rash still get sick," he said. "A group of patients sometimes don't recognize the rash or don't see it because it never appears. Patients are often told they have fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue People who are sick always look for what started all their ailments. Our suggestion is to look at Lyme disease a second time."

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