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Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2013

CDC estimates 300,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually in US

Preliminary estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000. The preliminary estimates were presented Sunday night in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases.

This 2007 photograph depicts the pathognomonic erythematous rash in the pattern of a “bull’s-eye”, which manifested at the site of a tick bite on this Maryland woman’s posterior right upper arm, who’d subsequently contracted Lyme disease. Image/CDC/ James Gathany

This 2007 photograph depicts the pathognomonic erythematous rash in the pattern of a “bull’s-eye”, which manifested at the site of a tick bite on this Maryland woman’s posterior right upper arm, who’d subsequently contracted Lyme disease.
Image/CDC/ James Gathany

According to a press release today, the federal health agency says the early estimate is based on findings from three ongoing CDC studies that use different methods, but all aim to define the approximate number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC, making it 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. 

“We know that routine surveillance only gives us part of the picture, and that the true number of illnesses is much greater,” said Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for CDC’s Lyme disease program. “This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States, and clearly highlights the urgent need for prevention.”

Most Lyme disease cases reported to CDC through national surveillance are concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 96 percent of cases in 13 states, according to the release.

Related Story: Common Lone Star Tick implicated in Lyme Disease bacteria found in southerners

“We know people can prevent tick bites through steps like using repellents and tick checks. Although these measures are effective, they aren’t fail-proof and people don’t always use them,” said Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H, director of CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. “We need to move to a broader approach to tick reduction, involving entire communities, to combat this public health problem.”

The CDC says Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.

''black-legged ticks'', Ixodes scapularis Image/CDC

”black-legged ticks”, Ixodes scapularis
Image/CDC

Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods says the CDC. In addition, they say most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics; however, these claims are hotly contested by Lyme disease advocates.

LISTEN: A few words on the Maine Lyme disease law, LD597, with MaineLyme.org President Constance Dickey

CDC recommends people take steps to help prevent Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases:

  • Wear repellent
  • Check for ticks daily
  • Shower soon after being outdoors
  • Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Displaying 48 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. […] Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection that is spread by bites from infected blacklegged 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). […]

  2. Lyme disease, other tickborne infections up in Maine in 2017 – Private Medical says:

    […] In 2013, CDC released preliminary estimates indicating that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is in excess of 300,000. […]

  3. Lyme disease, other tickborne infections up in Maine in 2017 - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] In 2013, CDC released preliminary estimates indicating that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is in excess of 300,000. […]

  4. Lyme disease testing: New tests could offer more accurate and less ambiguous results - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] disease is the most common tick-borne infection in North America and Europe. There are currently over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease annually in the United States alone and the disease is increasing and spreading into new regions. Lyme disease frequently, but not […]

  5. From Lyme to Powassan: Tick-borne diseases in the US 2016 - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] In 2013, CDC released preliminary estimates indicating that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is in excess of 300,000. […]

  6. Tick-borne diseases in New York: Big increases in the past decade - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year was estimated at around 300,000. This is a 10-times increase over the more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC, […]

  7. Powassan could become a greater public health threat than Lyme disease: Yale researcher - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] that seems small compared to the major tickborne disease, Lyme disease, which the CDC reports more than 30,000 cases annually in the US and estimates more than 300,000 cases per ye…, Professor Durland Fish of the Yale School of Public Health says Powassan has the potential to […]

  8. Lyme disease: 'Low-incidence state' Arkansas records 1st cases since 2007 - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Related: CDC estimates 300,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually in US […]

  9. Pennsylvania Lyme disease: 'The number that are reported are gross underestimates in every jurisdiction' - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported estimates that indicated that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around […]

  10. Lyme disease: Heat and humidity linked to differences in geographic prevalence - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Lyme disease sickens an estimated 300,000 Americans a year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it more common in this country than West Nile virus or any other illness transmitted by insects or arachnids. Black-legged ticks pick up the disease-causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, by biting infected animals, and can then transmit Lyme disease to people in a subsequent bite. The disease causes fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a rash. If not treated promptly, Lyme disease can damage the heart, joints and nervous system. […]

  11. Lyme disease tally tops 12,000 in Pennsylvania - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] CDC estimates indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000, ten times higher than the yearly reported […]

  12. Lyme disease: More than 11,000 cases in Pennsylvania to date - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] CDC estimates indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000, ten times higher than the yearly reported […]

  13. Canada reports more than 900 Lyme disease cases in 2015 | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] disease cases are about 30,000 annually and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 300,000 cases annually, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United […]

  14. Lyme disease research: North Dakota scientist awarded NIH grant | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] animals that includes lobsters, crabs, ticks, spiders, mites, insects, centipedes, and millipedes. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that 300,000 people each year are affected by Lyme disease. Total direct medical costs of Lyme disease and […]

  15. Lyme disease: Northeastern University researchers investigate four promising new treatments | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] CDC estimates 300,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually in US  […]

  16. Pennsylvania Lyme disease cases top 10,000 | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 329,000 cases occur in the United States each […]

  17. Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases in the US | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000, or about 10-times the number of cases reported to the federal health agency […]

  18. Lyme disease: ‘Water on the knee’ can be early symptom | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Over 30,000 cases are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year and likely over 300,000 new cases occur but go […]

  19. Lyme Disease Task Force report: Recommendations for Pennsylvania | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 329,000 cases occur in the United States each […]

  20. Johns Hopkins unveils Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Connecticut, 40 years ago, Lyme disease has spread rapidly throughout the East Coast and Midwest. It now afflicts more than 300,000 people per year, becoming the sixth most common reportable infectious disease in the […]

  21. Lyme disease advocates to protest IDSA | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] U.S. rates of Lyme disease have skyrocketed in recent years with the CDC announcing in 2013 that rather than 30,000 new cases annually there are likely 300,000. […]

  22. Dr. Donald Hopkins talks river blindness, ending tropical diseases and Katrina Starzhynskaya discusses lyme disease - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] CDC estimates 300,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually in US […]

  23. Lyme disease vaccine candidate has the potential to provide protection against most Borrelia species | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] the Northern hemisphere. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently presented an updated estimate of 300,000 cases annually in the US. This is almost a 10-fold increase to earlier estimations and would indicate that the disease is […]

  24. Is there a risk of getting Lyme disease in the bedroom? Yes, according to one study - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] and Prevention (CDC) announced that Lyme disease is much more common than previously thought, with over 300,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. That makes Lyme disease almost twice as common as breast cancer and six times more common than […]

  25. Powassan death in Maine, other tick borne stats - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] far as Lyme disease, the Maine CDC reported  1,285 confirmed and probable cases in 2013 compared to 1,111 in […]

  26. To reduce Lyme disease risks, keep tick-carrying deer out of your yard | Reader USA says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more […]

  27. To reduce Lyme disease risks, keep tick-carrying deer out of your yard says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more […]

  28. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Canal Marché says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  29. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Comm d'Entreprise says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  30. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | POLSKA AKTUALNOSCI says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  31. Green Party of Canada leader, Elizabeth May, calls for a National Lyme Disease strategy - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] CDC estimates 300,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually in US […]

  32. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Salle de Redaction says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  33. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | RP Quotidien says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  34. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | BusiNews says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  35. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Biz Headlines says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme diseaseare diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  36. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Salle de Redaction says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  37. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | RP Quotidien says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  38. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Canal Marché says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  39. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Comm d'Entreprise says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  40. Bobbex Deer Repellent's Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  41. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Market Releases says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  42. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | POLSKA AKTUALNOSCI says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  43. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | BusiNews says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  44. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Biz Headlines says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  45. Bobbex Deer Repellent’s Tips to Reduce Risk of Lyme Disease and Landscape Damage | Eric George Group says:

    […] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more go […]

  46. Katie Couric looking for Lyme disease sufferers for upcoming episode of ‘Katie’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] disease has been a big topic in the media lately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary estimates of prevalence of Lyme disease, which revealed numbers that were 10-times more […]

  47. Gretchen Carlson tweets about her Lyme disease - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Carlson’s infection comes at the same time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released it’s preliminary estimates of the disease at 300,000 people […]

  48. Pine 4 Better Daze says:

    Is Lyme disease something we can thank the U.S. government for??!
    In a season 2 premiere of ‘Conspiracy Theory’ ( With Jesse Ventura ), on tru-TV on Oct.
    15, 2010, Ventura did a program with a report on Plum Island. The Plum Island animal
    research lab and animal disease center, located off of the northeast tip of Long Island,
    New York, was apparently involved in bio-weapons research from its inception.
    The facility on Plum Island was started by the U.S. Army after WW II and is now under DHS
    with more than 1,300 labs (germ labs) all over the country.
    Dr. Eric Traub, former Nazi scientist, was brought to the U.S. after WW II to set up a
    ‘germ-warfare lab’ at Pum Island. As an incubator facility for germ warfare, mosquitos
    and wood ticks were used to carry disease….
    Lyme disease was named after Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first reported. And it
    so happens that Lyme, Conn. is across Long Island Sound from Plum Island.
    Plum Island may have been the source of Lyme disease carried by ticks and infected
    ticks from experiments done there may have been spread by birds.

    Plum Island apparently infected ticks with all types of diseases, including anthrax. An
    accident at the facility in 1978 involved hoof-and-mouth disease. Livestock are kept
    in pens on the island.
    A fired employee had safety issues at the facility when there was a power failure and
    they used duct tape to “seal” doors in lab buildings.
    On the program, the chief scientist at Plum Island, Dr. Roger Breeze, when confronted
    by Jesse Ventura, admitted that infectious disease could be spread by people working
    at the island.
    In light of the disturbing reports about Plum Island, the facility has moved and now has a new home in Manhattan, KS: the ‘National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility.’ Building
    a ‘bigger, more dangerous’ facility in the middle of the country was a bad idea because
    any outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease in the middle of cattle country could be
    disastrous and any outbreak of infectious disease from there could be serious.
    Congress made the decision to build “NBAF’ there, but politics and big money may have been behind the move to Kansas!

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