Lyme Disease Health Trends

Cases of Lyme disease in the United States rose dramatically in 2016 and 2017, finds Quest Diagnostics

Lyme disease, traditionally spread by ticks in the summer months in the North East, is now a risk across all 50 states and Washington DC. New data collected over a 7-year period through 2017 looks beyond older CDC reports and gives never before seen insight into a dramatic rise of confirmed cases of Lyme disease across the US.

To download the full report click here.

For a press release highlighting these data click here.

Lyme disease has spread across the US, with a disproportionate impact on populations in certain states. Over the course of a year, the number of positive cases increased by 50% in the New England region and 78% in Pennsylvania alone, which itself had more Lyme disease than any other state in the US last year. The two states with the largest absolute increases of infected patients were California and Florida, both of which have not historically been associated with high rates of Lyme disease. This is a harbinger of the growing expansion of Lyme disease across the country.

Tick bites can transmit Lyme disease. The disease can wreak havoc on the body. It can affect people of any age. It can cause symptoms affecting the skin, nervous system, heart and/or joints.. In most cases, a rash resembling a bull’s eye or solid patch appears and expands around or near the site of the bite. Sometimes multiple rash sites appear. Early symptoms appear within 3 to 30 days after the bite of an infected tick.

Laboratory tests are helpful for diagnosing Lyme disease if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Just as it is important to correctly diagnose Lyme disease when a patient has it, it is important to avoid misdiagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease when the true cause of the illness is something else such as other tick-borne diseases.
 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme Disease. Lyme disease graphs: reported cases of Lyme disease by year, United States, 1996-2016. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/graphs.html. Accessed June 28, 2018.