Did the COVID-19 pandemic mask an alarming rise of tick-borne diseases in Rappahannock County? 

In recent years, experts have gained a better understanding of the various illnesses caused by the parasitic bloodsuckers skulking in local grasses. But local residents and experts believe misdiagnoses and under-reported cases of tick diseases paint a skewed image of a health issue that is endemic in Virginia.

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“A lot of times doctors will treat patients and not do testing,” said Dr. John McCue, one of the county’s only physicians. “But you can tell from insurance claims that [Lyme disease] is actually quite common.”

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