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August 21, 2018

Lyme Disease in 2018: What Is New (and What Is Not)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases, New York Medical College, Valhalla
JAMA. 2018;320(7):635-636. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10974

With warmer weather come the annual warnings about tick-borne infections and, in particular, about Lyme disease. There has been considerable publicity about substantial increases in the incidence of Lyme disease; however, even though the incidence of Lyme disease has increased from 2007 to 2016, there has not been a statistically significant increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States during the most recent 4 years (2013-2016) for which data are available.1 In 2016, a total of 26 203 confirmed cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States (incidence = 8.1 cases/100 000 population),1 although an estimate suggests that approximately 300 000 cases occur annually.2 The geographic distribution of Lyme disease (although still limited primarily to New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and Wisconsin and neighboring states) has increased, with evidence of spread to new areas, generally in locations that are adjacent to recognized endemic areas.