A recent study by Quest Diagnostics shows that Lyme Disease is becoming more common outside the Northeast and more prevalent in the United States overall.
Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection that is spread by bites from infected black-legged ticks and deer ticks. The bacterium, called Borrelia burgdorferi,
causes more than 300,000 illnesses each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More than 60 percent of the 2017 positive test results were in the Northeast, with Pennsylvania leading all states with 10,001 cases.
In California, however, cases surged 194.5 percent from 2015 to 2017, while cases in Florida jumped 77 percent over that same period. Notable increases also occurred in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Symptoms include a bulls-eye rash, facial palsy, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
Prevention of Lyme includes:
- Don’t pitch a tent or set up camp in a location with leaf litter;
- Stay away from tall grass;
- Wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and pants;
- Wear a hat and secure long hair by tying it back;
- Tuck pants inside socks or boots; and
- Wear gardening gloves.