The above map shows each confirmed case of Lyme disease between 2008 and 2015, with each dot placed in the patient's home county. Nationwide, there were more than 30,000 cases — including unconfirmed reports — of the tick-borne illness annually during this period.
Although those clusters of cases in the Northeast and the upper Midwest might look a bit alarming, there's good news: Reported rates of Lyme disease contraction have been stable or decreasing in these regions, according to new data from the CDC. Researchers aren't sure, though, whether that's because the disease is actually on the downturn or because of changes in how states report cases.
The odds are less than 1 in 10,000 nationally or, to put it another way, you have twice as high a chance of hitting a hole in one or to slip, fall, and kill yourself in the shower this year.
As the folks over at Science News note:
- Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, and those that do have to be attached 36 to 48 hours to transmit the disease -- that's a very long time to be on a human who actually showers once a day.
- Lyme disease is generally easy to treat, and if it's not easy to treat, it may not be Lyme which is why science has shown that in those cases, lengthy courses of antibiotics don’t seem to help. Most Lyme disease presents, or does not present, in such a mild form that it passes without notice; a human or dog seems a bit run down for a day or two, and then their immune system kicks in, fights in back, an life continues on as before.
- Prevention is easy; tuck in your pants, spray Deet bug spray on your pants legs before going out, check yourself over after coming back from forest or field, and wash your dogs in Pyrethrin shampoo and check them over a few days after coming back from forest or field.
Want to know more, especially about Lyme disease testing and vaccination? Read The Billion Dollar Lyme Disease Scam from this blog.