Lyme disease more common than previously thought [10 times more cases says US CDC putting number at 300,000 cases per year!]

ATLANTA August 19, 2013 (AP)
By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer
 

Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported, health officials said Monday.

As many as 300,000 Americans are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.

Usually, only 20,000 to 30,000 illnesses are reported each year. For many years, CDC officials have known that many doctors don’t report every case and that the true count was probably much higher.

The new figure is the CDC’s most comprehensive attempt at a better estimate. The number comes from a survey of seven national laboratories, a national patient survey and a review of insurance information.

“It’s giving us a fuller picture and it’s not a pleasing one,” said Dr. Paul Mead, who oversees the agency’s tracking of Lyme disease.

The ailment is named after Lyme, Conn., where the illness was first identified in 1975. It’s a bacteria transmitted through the bites of infected deer ticks, which can be about the size of a poppy seed.

Symptoms include a fever, headache and fatigue and sometimes a telltale rash that looks like a bull’s-eye centered on the tick bite. Most people recover with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection can cause arthritis and more severe problems.

In the U.S., the majority of Lyme disease reports have come from 13 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The new study did not find anything to suggest the disease is more geographically widespread, Mead said.

Read USA CDC press release

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  1. Bonita Pulsifer on said:

    You know i found the tick that got me and another the second time ,,,Wondering if they can still be tested!I would love to send my blood test up to where ever i have to ,to get the right testing.There are so many people that go fishing that wont go because they are afraid …So as it is Summer has been not a great summer!Staying in the house and awy from doing what we love to do!

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