The Lyme bull's-eye
The Lyme bull's-eye (Photo: Getty Images/Kallista Images)

Lyme Disease 10 Times More Common Than Estimated

300,000 diagnosed each year

The Lyme bull's-eye
Caty Enders

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that rates of Lyme disease are 10 times higher than previously reported, bringing the estimated number of Americans diagnosed each year to a massive 300,000 people. Sunday night, at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases, the CDC released the results of three ongoing studies that indicate that the 30,000 cases reported to the government is just the tip of the iceberg.

In a press release, Paul Mead, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for the CDC’s Lyme program, said that the extent of the disease calls for a reconsideration of current medical strategy.

“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. “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.”

For more on the growing threat from tick-borne diseases, read The Rise of the Tick.

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Lead Photo: Getty Images/Kallista Images