Blacklegged Ticks Spread Across America CDC study finds ticks carrying TBD in nearly half of U.S. counties

By LymeTimes Editor

T he number of ticks that transmit Lyme disease to humans is growing in the U.S. According to recent research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the geographic distribution of two blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus) has increased since the last comprehensive survey was published in 1998. These two are the primary vectors of the Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and other infectious agents.

Over the last 20 years, these two main species of blacklegged ticks have undergone a population explosion, doubling their established range into half of all U.S. counties. Since 1991, when CDC standardized surveillance and reporting began, Lyme disease case counts have increased steadily.

At the same time, cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. have tripled, making it the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Cases of anaplasmosis and babesiosis have been on the rise as well. According to CDC estimates, Lyme disease now affects some 300,000 Americans each year. Other estimates are significantly higher. But the number of “reported” cases may be misleading, however, as Lyme disease is a complex often misdiagnosed illness that can involve multiple pathogens…… Join or login below to continue reading.

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