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Rise in Diagnoses of Lyme Disease

Backlegged Ticks

New preliminary reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year—an estimate ten times higher than the yearly reported number of 30,000. These estimates are based on results from three ongoing studies by the CDC that use various methods to define the average number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease. From the CDC brief:

The first project analyzes medical claims information for approximately 22 million insured people annually for six years, the second project is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public.

The high number of Americans diagnosed with this disease highlights the need for awareness and prevention.

Although the backlegged ticks carrying Lyme disease are found all over the United States, most cases are reported in the Northeast and upper Midwest regions.  A tick bite is most often characterized by a “bulls-eye” rash (or erythema migrans) that forms around the location of the bite and occurs in the majority of those infected within 3-7 days. Additional common side effects include fever, headaches, joint aches, and chronic fatigue. You can prevent and control Lyme disease by wearing repellents that contain 20 – 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on both exposed skin and clothing. It is also important to be aware of whether or not you’re in a highly tick-populated area and perform full-body tick checks when you are finished with your outdoor activity.

For more information on ticks, Lyme disease, and the CDC studies, visit the following links:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Lyme Disease:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Newsroom – Press Release –

MedlinePlus – Lyme Disease –

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