Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete
Lyme disease was named in 1977 when a number of children in Lyme, Connecticut suffering from similar symptoms, came down with an unidentified illness later found to be transmitted by the black legged tick, better known as the deer tick. Lyme is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis).
As the maps below indicate, Lyme and associated tick-borne illnesses are on the rise in the United States, particularly in the Northeast and Upper Mid West. You can track the trend of your own state on the CDC's Reported Lyme disease cases by state, 2004-2013.
Even if you live in a state or county with a low incidence of Lyme, recognize the precautions necessary to avoid tick-borne illnesses:
- Identify and avoid tick habitat
- Understand the tick life cycle
- Modify your landscape
- Dress appropriately
- Use repellents
- Perform a daily tick check
- Promptly and properly identify and remove attached ticks