TOUCHED BY LYME: New CDC stance on Lyme illness? – Prohealth

Reprinted from with the sort permission of Dorothy Kupcha Leland. To learn the unique article, click on here. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made massive information this week by announcing that illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have more than tripled within the United States from 2004 to 2016.

During that interval, greater than 640,000 circumstances of vector-borne illnesses had been reported to the CDC. Three-quarters of that quantity had been for tick-borne illnesses. And 82% of the tick-borne circumstances had been resulting from Lyme illness.

(Of course, we mustn’t neglect that “reported” means various things to totally different audiences. In this occasion, it means “meets the CDC’s strict surveillance criteria.” Which isn’t the identical factor as “diagnosed.” You will be identified with Lyme, and nonetheless not have your case counted by the CDC.)

New Maps on the CDC Website 

Now, check out this new map on the CDC web site. True, they lump all tick-borne illnesses collectively, however the general message is that certainly TBDs are a danger all through the nation.

In the previous, CDC Lyme maps seemed like somebody spilled ink on the higher right-hand nook, and the remainder of it was just about clean. As a end result, individuals with Lyme illness have typically been denied that prognosis by medical professionals who’d say: Look at that map. No Lyme in our state.

 Now, the map reveals tick-borne illnesses in 49 out of 50 states. (We would possibly quibble with the numbers—nonetheless manner too low—however at the very least the CDC now acknowledges that there are SOME circumstances in states that it beforehand dismissed as being freed from TBDs.)

Is this a softening of the CDC’s historic coverage of minimizing, ignoring and/or downright denying the menace posed by ticks all through the US? Perhaps. Too quickly to inform, actually, but it surely’s a tantalizing risk.

Widespread Coverage of CDC Announcement 

The CDC’s announcement, launched on the primary day of Lyme Awareness Month, garnered consideration from the nationwide information media. Here’s a sampling price taking a look at:

Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, CDC Finds (New York Times)

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas more than tripled in the U.S. since 2004 (Washington Post)

Zika, Lyme drive big increase in bug-borne disease in US (NBC Nightly News)

The CDC report sparked further protection as properly. I used to be happy to be consulted for a NY Times sidebar article about how to protect yourself from ticks.

Senator Chuck Schumer known as on the CDC to foot the bill for fighting ticks in New York.

And San Francisco radio station KQED put collectively an hour-long interview present about the specter of tick-borne illnesses in Northern California. Guests included Raphael Stricker MD, who serves on the board of; investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfeiffer, creator 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 BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at [email protected] .

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