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Report Urges Mass. Officials to Combat Lyme Disease

Photo by Scott Bauer (USDA ARS)

BOSTON (AP) — A new report is urging Massachusetts officials take more drastic steps to combat Lyme disease, from launching aggressive public education campaigns to exploring expanded crossbow hunting to cut down on the number of deer that may be carrying ticks.

The report released Thursday by a special legislative commission also said the state needs to enhance its Lyme disease surveillance methods to get a better idea of the scope of the problem.

Up to 14,000 reports of Lyme disease are confirmed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health each year although officials say the real numbers may be much higher.

The disease is spread to humans from tick bites.

State Rep. David Linsky, who headed up the commission, said the disease is a public health epidemic that has touched residents of every city and town.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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