Del. Leads Nation in Lyme Disease Cases - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Leads Nation in Lyme Disease Cases

Updated:

DOVER, Del.- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention usually estimates there are 30,000 cases a year of Lyme disease in the United States. CDC officials now say that recent studies show that the true number is probably 10 times greater with 300,000 cases. Amongst the number of Lyme disease in the country, Delaware leads the nation in the number of confirmed cases.

According to the Delaware Department of Health, in 2012 there were a total of 669 cases of Lyme disease in the state. Kent County reported 132 cases, Sussex County had 137 confirmed cases and New Castle had the most cases at 400.

But why Delaware has the highest concentration is still uncertain.
 
"We don't know why exactly we have the highest concentration compared to other states but we do know that we do have people living in close proximity with the natural host of lyme disease," said Medical Director, Awele Maduka-Eceh.

Health officials say with plenty of mild weather still ahead, it's not just people that spend time outdoors who should be cautious, but almost everyone should be careful.

"You would think that it was those who go outdoors, hunting or those who go hiking that would be the only ones affected, but remember if you do have a pet, a dog that goes out into the woods to go whatever and play and comes back inside, the dog can bring the ticks inside the home."

Here are some ways to prevent tick bites:

  • Avoid direct contact with ticks 
  • Use insect repellent that contains 20-30 percent of Deet
  • Cover up- wear long sleeve shirts and long pants.
  • Always check yourself for ticks after spending time outdoors
  • If you do find a tick, remove it immediately

For more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visit their website at www.cdc.gov.

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