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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 15, 2019

Tickborne Diseases Increasing

JAMA. 2019;321(2):138. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.20464

A recent data summary from the CDC shows that 2017 was a record-breaking year for tickborne diseases in the United States. Officials are also concerned about the arrival of a prolific species of disease-carrying tick.

As new diseases emerge and some ticks expand their ranges, US public health authorities find themselves unprepared to deal with steady increases in infections, according to the CDC. The newest data summary indicates that the number of tickborne infections in the United States has doubled between 2004 and 2016 from 22 527 to 48 610. Several of these infections were caused by emerging tickborne pathogens newly discovered in the United States, including the Heartland virus, Powassan virus, and Bourbon virus. This trend is continuing with a record-breaking 59 349 cases of tickborne illnesses reported to the CDC in 2017, based on data from the Notifiable Disease Surveillance System.