WASHINGTON, D.C. (Erie News Now) -- Ticks and Lyme Disease can pose many health concerns and illnesses. Some lawmakers say they can also pose a threat to national security. 

According to the CDC, in 2022, nearly 63,000 cases of Lyme Disease were reported in the United States, with New York reporting the highest number of cases. 

“This is a disease that is getting worse. It really was concentrated in southeast New York and now it has traveled throughout the entire state,” said Joellen Lampman, Extension Support Specialist at NYS Integrated Pest Management. 

After nearly a decade of educating communities across New York about pests like ticks, Lampman is noticing a trend. 

“Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent. They’re hitting more people,” said Lampman. 

“New York deserves the freedom to spend time outdoors without worrying about facing serious illness from a tick bite,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- NY) during a press conference on Thursday. 

Gillibrand, along with several of her colleagues in the Senate, are calling for more federal dollars to ramp up research and better understand the full impact of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. 

“Federal research and prevention efforts have historically been underfunded,” said Gillibrand. 

Gillibrand also noted that service members at military bases in the U.S. are particularly at risk, which she warns poses a threat to national security and military readiness. 

“The vast majority of military bases are located in states where exposure to ticks and other diseases they carry is especially high,” said Gillibrand. 

Gillibrand and others are calling for $200 million in the Fiscal Year 2025 government funding bill to research tick-borne illnesses. It includes $9 million to support the Department of Defense's Tick-borne Disease Research Program, $30 million for the CDC, $30 million for the Department of Health and Human Services, and $130 million for research at the National Institutes of Health. 

“Children are the group that are most likely to get these tick-borne diseases. The more investment that is put into this disease and ways to try to reduce the tick populations, reducing the amount of disease that's in the tick populations and in the wildlife populations in general, is really going to benefit all of us in the long run,” said Lampman.