Lyme disease putting bull’s-eye on Delaware residents

Day after day, I see articles like these with people puzzled why Lyme disease is on the rise in their area.  Unfortunately, the simple conclusions they surmise is the same old shallow trash that has been misleading and infecting millions around the world:

  • Greater deer populations cause greater incidences of LD;
  • Dense forests breed infected ticks;
  • Only ticks carry LD.


These are certainly major variables in the equation, but if you are relying on these factors only to protect yourself, you better keep your insurance policy paid up.  In fact, you should do that anyway.

Excerpted from Delaware Online ( Posted: 06/12/2010 ):

First State is second-worst in annual incidence

When Dianne Mulholland got sick with Lyme disease 10 years ago, she didn’t think she was going to survive.  “I laid on my sofa for months, just waiting to die,” the Odessa woman recalls. “That’s just how I felt.”

Mulholland is one of hundreds of Delawareans who contract the tick-borne illness every year, putting the state just behind New Hampshire as having the highest Lyme disease incidence rate in the country, according to the latest federal statistics.

There are theories as to why Delaware’s rate is so high — a large deer population, better disease tracking and increased residential development next to wooded areas — but no definitive reasons.

Lyme has been shown to be primarily a coastal disease, said Kevin Griffith, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mapping efforts have shown more new cases closer to the coast, and fewer inland.

But differences between states, even neighboring ones, are hard to explain. Incidence rates in Maryland and Pennsylvania, for example, are considerably lower than Delaware’s.

“It’s a really good question,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, head of the state’s Division of Public Health. “We certainly know that here in Delaware, Lyme is endemic. We know that [deer ticks] are out there and that Delawareans are at risk.”

For the full article:

~ by Rob on June 12, 2010.

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