TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

CDC: Lyme disease 10 times more common than believed

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

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

As many as 300,000 Americans are 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 United States, 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 study did not find anything to suggest the disease is more geographically widespread, Mead said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Mind was ‘falling apart,’ Colorado theater killing suspect says
  2. Anthrax shipments underreported
  3. Ginsburg flung open doors for women
  4. Clinton Foundation reports as much as $26.4M in previously undisclosed payments
  5. Phone threats put scare into international flights
  6. FCC clears technology use to block robocalls
  7. Baltimore gets bloodier as arrests drop post-riots
  8. Boehner: Little progress at VA year after Shinseki departure
  9. California man beaten by deputies on video faces charges
  10. Dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded after all
  11. Senate foils phone spies in close vote