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CDC Estimates 300,000 Cases of Lyme Disease in U.S./Year

CDC Estimates 300,000 Cases of Lyme Disease in U.S./Year

Number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease about 10 times higher than reported cases

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, according to a report presented at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases in Boston.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used data from three ongoing CDC studies with different methods to estimate the number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. The projects involved analyzing medical claims information for about 22 million insured people annually for six years, surveying clinical laboratory data, and analyzing self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public.

The researchers note that more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, and that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is thought to be about 10 times higher.

"We know that routine surveillance only gives us part of the picture, and that the true number of illnesses is much greater," Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H., chief of epidemiology and surveillance for the CDC's Lyme disease program said in a statement. "This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States, and clearly highlights the urgent need for prevention."

More Information (http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0819-lyme-disease.html )