According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) preliminary reports, approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.
This figure is derived from three ongoing studies that utilize different methods. The first project analyzes medical claims information for approximately 22 million insured people for six years, the second is based on a survey of clinical laboratories, and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a general public survey.
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. The new estimate suggests that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number.
The CDC will publish final estimates when the studies are complete, and researchers are also trying to identify novel methods to kill ticks and prevent illness. The CDC recommends the following preventative steps against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases:
- Wear repellent
- Check for ticks daily
- Shower soon after being outdoors
- Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash
For more information visit CDC.gov/Lyme.