CDC Report Neglects Tens of Thousands of Lyme Disease Patients Lyme disease cases for 2017 are actually much higher than the CDC-reported number—as much as 10 times higher.

By Dorothy Kupcha Leland

CDC surveillance case definition for Lyme disease  T he CDC’s 2017 Lyme disease statistics are in: 42,743 reported cases. (Note that “reported” means only those cases that meet the CDC’s surveillance criteria for confirmed and probable cases.) Using the CDC’s own estimate, which says that Lyme is underreported by a factor of 10, that puts the yearly number at closer to 427,430 cases in 2017—the highest it’s ever been.

The CDC’s number leaves out tens of thousands of diagnosed cases of Lyme that fail to meet that rigid standard. And, of course, there’s no way to account for the untold thousands of people with Lyme who are misdiagnosed with something else.

Reported Tickborne Diseases, U.S.20162017
Lyme disease (confirmed and probable)36,42942,743
Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis4,3696,248
Tularemia 230239
Powassan virus2233

The CDC has also started grouping tick-borne diseases together, as shown in the following chart. (As far as we know, the 10-times multiple only applies to Lyme disease, not to other tick-borne infections shown in the chart.)…………. Join or login below to continue reading.

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