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TOUCHED LYME: New CDC Attitudes to Lyme Disease?



Reprinted from LymeDisease.org by courtesy of Dorothy Kupcha Leland. To read the original article, click here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released great news this week announcing that mosquito, tick and flea bites have more than tripled in the US from 2004 to 2016

] At the same time, more than 640,000 vector-borne disease cases were reported to the CDC. Three quarters of this number was for tick-borne diseases. And 82% of tick-borne cases were due to Lyme disease.

(Of course, we must not forget that "reporting" means different things to different audiences, in which case it means "meticulously monitoring the CDC criteria." Which is not the same as "diagnosed." You can talk to Lyme and have still not counted your case by the CDC. "

New maps on the CDC website [1

9659003] Now take a look at this new map on the CDC website. that they summarize all tick-borne diseases, but the general message is that TBDs are a risk throughout the country.

In the past, CDC Lyme cards looked like someone had spilled ink in the upper right corner The rest was quite empty and as a result people with Lyme disease were often denied this diagnosis by doctors who would say: Look at this map: No Lyme in our state.

The map shows tick-borne diseases in 49 out of 50 states. (We could torment with the numbers – still far too low – but at least the CDC confirms that there are some cases in states that were previously dismissed as free of TBDs.)

Is this a weakening of the historic policy of CDC? to minimize, ignore and / or deny the threat of ticks across the US? Maybe. Too early to really say it, but it's a tempting option.

Widespread coverage of the CDC announcement

The CDC's announcement published on the first day of the Lyme Awareness Month drew the attention of national news media. Here is a sample consideration:

Tick and mosquito infections are spreading rapidly, CDC finds (New York Times)

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have become common More Than Tripled in the US since 2004 (Washington Post)

Zika, Lyme Drives Up In The US A Significant Increase in Insect-Borne Disease (NBC Nightly News)

The CDC report released additional Reporting from. I was pleased to be consulted for a NY Times sidebar article on how to protect yourself from ticks.

Senator Chuck Schumer challenged the CDC to foot bill for the fight against ticks in New York

And the KQED radio station in San Francisco presented a one-hour interview show on the threat Ticks transmitted diseases in northern California. Guests were Raphael Stricker MD, who sits on the board of LymeDisease.org; Investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfeiffer, author of "Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change"; and biologist / tick researcher Andrea Swei of San Francisco State University. You can listen to the podcast here.


TOUCHED LYME was written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, Director of Communications at LymeDisease.org. She is a co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Survival Guide For Parents. Contact her at dland@lymedisease.org.


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