CDC – Data shows the rise of Tick-borne diseases in the US

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CDC’s data show that tick-borne diseases are again on the rise. In 2017, state and local health departments reported a record number of cases of tick-borne disease to CDC – 59,349 cases – up from 48,610 in 2016. Reported cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis (including Rocky Mountain spotted fever), babesiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus disease all increased from 2016 to 2017.

Reported Tickborne Diseases, U.S.
Reported Tickborne Diseases, U.S. 2016 2017
Lyme Disease (confirmed and probable) 36,429 42,743
Anaplasmosis/Ehrlichiosis 5,750 7,718
Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis§ 4,269 6,248
Babesiosis§§ 1,910 2,368
Tularemia 230 239
 Powassan virus 22 33
 Total 48,610 59,349 

Data Source – CDC Tick-borne Disease Surveillance Summary

CDC states that while the reason for this increase is unclear, a number of factors can affect tick numbers each year, including temperature, rainfall, humidity, and host populations such as mice and other animals. Tick densities in any year will vary from region to region, state to state, and even county to county. Numbers of reported tick-borne disease cases are also affected by healthcare provider awareness, testing, and reporting practices. During any given year, people may or may not notice changes in tick populations depending on the amount of time they or their pets spend outdoors.

In retrospect, availability of this data report shows the importance of an effective disease surveillance and reporting system through which data can be collected, stored and utilized. Data reports like this are essential for disease monitoring, and particularly to aid decision-making for health service delivery, health policy and public health programs. We hope that in the nearest future, a cohesive and efficient data system will be established especially in developing countries for these purposes and more.

Report adapted from CDC Ticks

Additional reports and data can be found at the CDC Tick-borne Disease Surveillance Summary




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