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Stories From Main Street: Studying Lyme Disease In Westchester County

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The Tri-State region is a hot spot for ticks and Lyme disease and in the Westchester hamlet of Hawthorne, there's a specialized center for treating potentially dangerous tick bites.

Nearly three decades ago, Dr. Gary Wormser started the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center at New York Medical College.

Think of it as an emergency room just for tick bites and tick transmitted diseases, WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported.

"There needed to be a place for patients to go quickly rather than have to wait a week or two for an appointment with their regular doctor," Wormser said. "I'm not aware of anything like this."

Studying Lyme Disease In Westchester County

Its mission is two fold: treatment and research.

"We now have five identified deer tick transmitted infections in the Lower Hudson Valley," Wormser said. "We're doing studies now on trying to find better diagnostic tests for tick born diseases, trying to understand why some people have residual symptoms and other people don't. We're trying to find out if there's any marker that would identify a person who's going to have an uneventful recovery from one that may have some residual symptoms."

Wormser said participants can really contribute to science because there are so many baffling questions about Lyme disease.

"The fatigue, aches and pains and headache and other things that accompany early Lyme disease can persist," Wormser said. "At three months at least 25 percent of patients will have some minor symptom, at six months about 10 percent."

Patients can be paid for participating in research studies.

The walk-in clinic is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings during the summer. No appointment is necessary. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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