Ascel Bio assesses that Lyme disease risk is rising in the United States. The widespread warmth in February in the Eastern US (even as temperatures return to seasonal norms) indicate that monitoring and prevention strategies should be underway in the region.
Ticks, which feed on deer, rats, and dogs, throughout the year, are more active during warm weather, but can survive and transmit Lyme disease to humans in any season. The bacterial infection rate in the adult deer ticks is 40-60% in the Eastern and Midwestern states in which they have been studied.
Lyme disease is the most commonly recognized tickborne disease in the United States. In 2010, there were 22,500 confirmed cases according to the CDC. Other infections spread via ticks include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tickborne relapsing fever, tularemia, and Q fever.
Ascel Bio’s assessment is that the tick-mammal-human interactions are at their seasonal inflection. Prevention strategies should be in place and diagnostics should be available for use. Rashes from Lyme may take 30 days to emerge in humans from initial tick exposure. Other symptoms include lethargy, joint pain, and nausea. The possibility of differential diagnoses means that blood tests should be utilized.
The CDC provides recommendations for people in tick-prevalent areas to: