Woman Gets Lyme Disease From Tick - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Woman Gets Lyme Disease From Tick

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BRIGHTON, Mich. (WLNS)- Maria Perri of Brighton has battled lyme disease for over 30 years and it all began with a bite from a tick.

Experts say, this year in Michigan, the number of ticks has increased by 50 percent.

"It basically took my life, so I'm just trying to get it back," said Perri. She still gets emotional remembering her worst stages of lyme disease.

She still has it, but she's seen major improvement the last three years. "I became bed-ridden and pretty much couldn't function," said Perri.

It isn't easy to identify. Perri bounced around from hospital to hospital with symptoms of lyme disease since she was 5-years-old. It wasn't until 2009 she was officially diagnosed. "They had diagnosed me with fibromyalgia-- lupus--and I believe all of those things now was the lyme," said Perri.

The cause of lyme disease is a bite from a deer tick about the size of a tip of a pen. "These small ticks can get into your hairline or behind your ear. If you're not looking very hard or you don't feel them, you might not know that it's ever there," said Erik Foster, Entymologist at the Department of Community Health.

He says that if caught early, antibotics can fight the disease, but if left untreated as in Perri's case, it can lead to complications.

Perri says the earlier you start treatment the better chance you have to avoid the struggles she went through.

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