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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Lyme cases in Mass. go up 50% in one year

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Author Topic: Lyme cases in Mass. go up 50% in one year
Foggy
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Lyme cases in Mass. go up 50% in one year
By Felicia Mello, Globe Correspondent | June 15, 2007

The number of Lyme disease cases reported in Massachusetts jumped by about 50 percent from 2004 to 2005, a single-year increase that prompted concerned state health officials to say they were stepping up efforts to educate the public about prevention of the disease.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported yesterday that 2,336 cases were reported in the state in 2005, compared with 1,532 the previous year. Nationwide, the number of cases rose to 23,305 from 19,804 in the same period, an 18 percent increase.

"Lyme disease is a significant public health burden," said state epidemiologist Bela Matyas. "Lots of people have Lyme disease, and many can be made very ill by it." He said the state is distributing pamphlets to towns to hand out in public libraries, schools, and workshops.

Once a worry only on Cape Cod, the islands, and Southeastern Massachusetts, Lyme disease has spread in recent years to suburban Boston and other areas around the state: Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, Worcester, and Berkshire counties. Dr. Lester Hartman, a pediatrician in Westwood, said he has seen more children with Lyme disease since 2004 than in the previous 16 years combined. "I've seen kids miss a week of school because they can't walk well and they're in pain," he said. "And if a child gets facial palsy, that's very traumatic."

The most common bug-borne illness in the United States, Lyme disease has spread in the Bay State as deer have migrated into suburban areas, bringing with them the deer ticks that carry the disease, Matyas said.

Better reporting by doctors trained to recognize the ailment also might have helped boost the numbers.

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lalalu
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Thanks for the info!

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http://chroniclyme.blogspot.com/

"Illnesses, hover constantly above us, their seed blown by the winds, but they do not set in the terrain unless the terrain is ready to receive them."---Claude Bernard.

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northstar
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Wow, that was a huge increase.

Northstar

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