Canastota, NY (WIBX) - Senator Charles Schumer, (D-NY) was in Madison County this morning to announce his plans to fight the growing problem of Lyme disease and the emerging illness known as Babesiosis. He said, "These ticks can create serious problems ...  Health professionals, Researchers Veterinarians in Central New York all agree, that the threat of tick-borne illness has spiked in recent years and today I'm here to help push a program to step up and stop this pesky problem." Schumer says he's introducing legislation that will boost research into tick-borne illnesses, increase education and awareness and better coordinate federal agencies working together to fight the diseases.

"Babesiosis is a tick-borne illness that has emerged right here in Madison County for the first time and it's expanding in a pattern that mimics those of Lyme disease. It's a parasitic disease, it's spread by the bite of certain types of ticks that carry these little parasites that affect and destroy the red blood cells in our body," Schumer said. He goes onto say that many people who are infected do not show symptoms, and doctors treating patients with tick bites are not aware of this new illness until it gets really serious. He cautions that people who suffer tick bites should see a health care provider to get tested for both Lyme disease and Babesiosis.

The tick-borne illnesses are not unique to NYS however, health officials say the disease is expanding. In recent months, cases of Babesiosis have begun showing up in Central New York. The disease causes fatigue and flu-like systems and can be fatal to those with weakened immune systems. To learn more about the legislation and Babesiosis, follow this link; http://schumer.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=333743&.