Lyme disease: + 357% in rural areas, + 65% in cities… in the United States, the number of cases is exploding

The number of diagnoses of Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of ticks, is still on the rise in the United States. This is the finding of a study conducted by an association collecting private insurance data.

After having been ignored for a long time, Lyme disease is now widely discussed in the media. And recommendations for prevention, well understood by the public. And this is good news in view of the explosion of cases. In 2018, the French authorities had reported a significant increase in the number of new cases, with 104 cases per 100,000 inhabitants against 69 per 100,000 in 2017. American work reveals a major increase in 14 years.

Thus, between 2007 and 2021, the number of diagnoses of Lyme borreliosis increased by 357% in rural areas, according to an analysis of data from more than 36 billion invoices relating to care for this disease, issued to the UNITED STATES. Although more limited, this increase nevertheless reached 65% in urban areas. Reports in cities were more concentrated between November and April, while cases in the countryside occurred more often in the summer period.

Better awareness?

The authors do not provide an explanation for this major increase. But another research team that published work on the subject in the UK in 2019 suggested that awareness of the disease in recent years may play a role in the rise in diagnoses.

As a reminder, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium of the spirochete family. Often asymptomatic, this infection can nevertheless result in the appearance of a red patch within 30 days of the bite and flu-like symptoms. In the absence of early treatment, neurological disorders, joint pain and partial paralysis of the limbs may appear.

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