Lawmakers pass measure to investigate if ticks were used as bioweapons

A congressman has a pressing question for the U.S. military: Were ticks and other insects weaponized as biological weapons and mistakenly released into the country?

The House of Representatives was serious enough to pass a resolution to have the Department of Defense's Inspector General to look into the claims that the tick experiments happened between 1950 and 1975, CNN reported.

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The measure was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R - NJ) after he said he was inspired by "a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at US government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland and Plumb Island, New York, to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons."

Smith asked for specifics on the program, including "Was there any accidental release anywhere or at any time of any of the diseased ticks?"

Ticks can carry different diseases but the most prevalent is Lyme disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are about 30,000 cases of Lyme are reported each year, according to the CDC.

Smith said since Lyme disease is becoming more and more common, "Americans have a right to know whether any of this [bioweapon research of ticks] is true."

The congressman is also pushing for the government to do more research, prevention and treatment of Lyme disease. His TICK Act pledges $180 million toward the fight against Lyme disease, CNN reported.

The best way to prevent Lyme disease, according to the CDC, is to wear repellent, do a daily tick check, shower as soon as you get home from being outdoors and if you get a fever or rash, call a doctor.

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