Cases of Lyme Disease Have Doubled In 5 Years

In the past 5 years, reported Lyme disease cases have doubled. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) posted that, in 2009, there were 38,468 reported cases [1], which is up 9% from 2008. As well, Lyme cases have increased by 94%, almost doubling from 2004-2009.

Note: according to epidemiologists at the CDC, these reported cases are underestimated 6- to 12-fold in endemic regions due to flaws in its reporting system. [2] Thus, the real number of new cases of Lyme disease in 2009 may be more like 461,616.

Here are some of the reasons for this large gap in numbers:

1. Inaccurate Lyme tests [3]
2. Physicians failing to report cases
3. A process that mandates that local health officials get in touch with each individual physician to confirm the details of many of the case reports [4]
4. Lyme disease cases that are rejected because they don’t fit the conservative surveillance definition of Lyme disease – one that is still based on an inaccurate blood test, a Lyme disease symptoms list that is outdated, and a burdensome reporting process for state and local health departments.

As well, the CDC does not report probable and suspected cases of Lyme disease to the media, only confirmed cases. The CDC also does not report the fact that their own epidemiologists say that the actual case count of Lyme disease could be ten times higher than the reported cases.

The result of this is that the average physician makes his/her diagnostic decisions based on the CDC case numbers, and when cases in their states are underestimated, more Lyme patients will be misdiagnosed. Funding for research on Lyme disease that is allocated by Congress is based on the CDC case numbers, too, and by underestimating these numbers by a factor of ten, grants will go to other diseases.

[1] CDC. Reported Lyme disease cases by state, 1995-2009. Reported cases in this chart include both “confirmed” and “probable” cases for 2008 and 2009.

[2] CDC. Cases are “under-reported by 6- to 12-fold.”

[3] Coulter, P, et. al. 2005. Two-Year Evalution of Borrelia burgdoferi Culture and Supplemental Test for Definitive Diagnosis of Lyme Disease, Clin. J. Clin. Microbiol. 41: 5080-5084. “…no single test is optimal for Lyme disease diagnosis”

[4] CDC. Burden of Lyme Reporting.

(Source: Under Our Skin)

Share

4 comments for “Cases of Lyme Disease Have Doubled In 5 Years

  1. September 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Great weblog right here! Additionally your web site quite
    a bit up very fast! What host are you the use of?
    Can I get your affiliate link on your host? I desire my site loaded up as quickly as yours
    lol

  2. September 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks , I’ve just been searching for info approximately this
    topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far.
    However, what concerning the bottom line?
    Are you certain concerning the supply?

  3. October 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

  4. October 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog
    and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts.

    Any way I’ll be subscribing for your augment and even I achievement you get admission to persistently fast.

Comments are closed.