Health

Lyme Disease — And The Ticks That Carry It — Spreads Across The U.S.

Lyme Disease — And The Ticks That Carry It — Spreads Across The U.S.

The threat of Lyme disease has spread to all 50 states. Quest Diagnostics analyzed 6 million blood samples and found the tick-borne disease is now in 100 percent of the country. The most cases were in Pennsylvania, but the disease is also becoming more common in places like Florida and California.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Wendy Adams, research grant director for the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which released research in July showing ticks capable of carrying Lyme have been found in 83 new counties across the country.

4 Tips For Avoiding Tick-Borne Diseases When You Go Outdoors

  • “Try and stay away from long grasses, leaf litter and fallen trees.”
  • “Stay in the middle of pathways when you’re out hiking or walking.”
  • “When you come in, you really want to throw your clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes.”
  • “Take a shower and then do a tick check.”

Interview Highlights

On Lyme disease, typically concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest, being reported in all 50 states, and the difference between testing and reporting

“I think it’s important to talk about the testing and the reporting here, because while it’s been reported in 50 states, it doesn’t mean that the bacteria is actually living in the ticks of all those 50 states. Lyme disease is reported where it’s diagnosed, but not necessarily where it’s contracted. So while we say that it’s been diagnosed in 50 states, it’s not necessarily in the ticks in all 50 states