U.S. grapples with rise in serious infections, as tick populations explode

The Extinction Protocol

August 20, 2013NEW YORKThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing. “It confirms what we’ve thought for a long time: This is a large problem,” Dr. Paul Mead tells Shots. “The bottom line is that by defining how big the problem is we make it easier for everyone to figure out what kind of resources we have to use to address it.” Mead, who directs Lyme disease surveillance for the CDC, presented the new “preliminary” estimate at an international conference in Boston on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. The CDC says only a 10th of Lyme disease cases — fewer than 30,000 — are reported. And to make it more complicated, an unknown number of people are being diagnosed with Lyme disease who don’t really have it. The new estimate comes from three…

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