COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Even just a few short years ago, if you said "Lyme disease" to someone, they might not know what you're talking about. Things have changed. There are now confirmed cases in every state. And considering people in South Carolina like their outdoor activities, they need to be aware of a disease carried by ticks.
Former WACH FOX News anchor Arielle Riposta has been fighting Lyme disease most of her life, but it took eight years for her to get diagnosed.
"It was 1996. No one knew what Lyme was. Prior to that, it was doctor's visits for headaches, eye problems, just everything little thing you can put together. We kept putting Band-aids on it," said Riposta.
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness transmitted by deer ticks. It can cause flu-like symptoms. For Riposta, the disease also affects her neurologically.
"Your brain affects everything, your walking, your hands, your balance. I had to relearn how to be Arielle with Lyme. What I can do, what I can't do," said Riposta.
Lyndsay Murray is a medical technician at Any Lab Test Now in West Columbia. She says more people are coming in to get tested for Lyme disease. She says all it takes is a simple blood draw, and results will show a week later whether you test positive or negative.
"The spirochetes, which are corkscrew-like bacteria, they invade everything in your body and it happens quick. That's why I tell people 'go to the doctor or go get checked'," said Riposta. "Being treated right away with a certain amount of antibiotics can help. You may never develop full blown Lyme disease like me."
Right now, there's no cure for Lyme, but it can be managed. For more information on symptoms and treatment, click here.