Tick season is getting worse every year, so it's about time that our health system does something about it.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year there are approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease.
Just a few weeks ago, a woman's dog got 85 ticks after only one walk in her local park.
Her home later got infested with the pesky bugs and now she and her dog are both being treated for Lyme disease.
If Lyme is left untreated, the bacteria can spread to the brain, heart, and joints.
Finally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a plan to tackle this ongoing health scare.
A New Vaccine
The FDA recently announced plans to fast-track a new Lyme disease vaccine known as Valneva.
The vaccine, which was created in France, is believed to be safer and more effective than the previous Lyme vaccine that was pulled from the market 15 years ago.
The drug finished the first phase of clinical trials in Europe and reportedly has "no apparent side effects," according to CBS News.
Also, the vaccine is believed to be 96% effective, targeting six different strains of bacteria that cause the illness.
"They do a preemptive strike on the bacteria that are still increasing in the tick before infection occurs," said Dr. Robert Smith, an infectious disease specialist.
The company says that the vaccine will be affordable, but you may have to wait for six years to get it.
All that being said, this vaccine will not protect people from tick-borne illnesses. There are ways to protect yourself in the meantime.
Tips On How To Avoid Ticks
1. Grow bug repellent plants in yard.
Catmint, lavender, eucalyptus, mint, and garlic are particularly great for deterring those pesky bugs.
2. Wear long, loosely-fitted clothing.
3. Avoid tick-infested areas. If you're not sure, ask locals or wildlife staff.
4. Try to stay in the sun.
6. Cut your grass.
7. Use insect repellent that has at least 20% DEET.