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CDC Reports High Lyme Disease Rates in 10 States

Lyme disease is the most common of all the diseases in the United States transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, with approximately 20,000 cases reported each year.

Lyme disease became a nationally notifiable disease in 1991, and since then reported cases of the Lyme disease have more than doubled according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also said 93 percent of reported cases were concentrated in 10 states.

Lyme disease most commonly occurs in the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and North-Central states. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin had the most cases. The report says that during 2003-2005, a total of 64,382 Lyme disease cases were reported to CDC from 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Early symptoms of infection include fever, headache fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.
People should watch for symptoms especially in the areas with intense Lyme disease transmission, and see a health care provider if these develop. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent serious illness and long-term complications.

Prevention steps include daily tick checks (self examination for ticks), use of repellent containing 2 percent or more DEET, selective use of insecticides that target ticks, and the avoidance of tick-infested areas. Removing ticks within 24 hours of attachment greatly reduces the likelihood of disease transmission. Tick populations around homes and in recreational areas can be reduced 50 to 90 percent through simple landscaping practices such as removing brush and leaf litter, and creating a buffer zone of wood chips or gravel between forest and lawn or recreational areas.

Source: CDC

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June 26, 2019, 12:06 pm PDT

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