Lyme disease has now been detected in all 50 states of the USA, raising concerns on the prevalence of the tick-borne illness even in places where it has not usually been a problem.
The cases of Lyme diseases in the 50 states are still on the rise, so people should learn how to prevent being infected with the dreaded illness.
Lyme Disease Found Across The United States
According to a new report released by New York-based clinical lab results database Quest Diagnostics, Lyme disease is now found in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
The tick-borne illness has previously been a major problem in the Northeast, where 95 percent of cases come from. However, according to Quest Diagnostics, infections are increasing in states such as California and Florida, where it was previously thought to be nearly impossible to get Lyme disease. There were 483 Lyme disease cases in California and 501 in Florida, up by 194.5 percent and 77 percent, respectively, since 2015.
While Lyme disease cases are popping up in new places, the typical hot spots of the tick-borne illness are getting worse. For example, New England and Pennsylvania saw an increase in the number of infections over the previous two years, at 50 percent and 78 percent, respectively. Pennsylvania, in particular, has it pretty bad, with the highest number of Lyme disease cases last year at 10,001 victims.
Quest Diagnostics arrived at the figures by analyzing the results of 6 million blood tests that doctors ordered for Lyme diseases diagnosis.
What Is Lyme Disease, And How Do You Prevent It?
Lyme disease, if left untreated, may lead to serious complications, including severe arthritis and neurological or cardiac issues. Symptoms include severe headaches, rashes, facial palsy, intermittent pain in joints and muscles, nerve pain, and irregular heartbeat.
People should be wary while outside, as they may pick up ticks while walking through grassy areas. As such, it is recommended to wear long sleeves and pants when going hiking or camping. Before going inside, a thorough inspection on the clothes is required to make sure that no ticks are sticking to them.
Families are also recommended to landscape lawns to make them unattractive to ticks by keeping the grass low and leaf litter cleared to reduce the number of places where the pests can thrive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, tried to raise awareness on Lyme diseases using a picture of a poppy seed muffin.