New Lyme disease estimate: 300,000 cases a year - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New Lyme disease estimate: 300,000 cases a year

Deer ticks like this one can infect Lyme disease; adults are most active during the cooler months of the year. CDC photo Deer ticks like this one can infect Lyme disease; adults are most active during the cooler months of the year. CDC photo

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - Health officials say Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says as many as 300,000 Americans are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

READ MORE | CDC report on Lyme disease

Previously, the CDC said the number ranged from 20,000 to 30,000. But CDC officials have known that doctors don't report every case, and the true count was probably much higher.

The CDC surveyed labs and reviewed insurance information to come up with a better estimate, which was released Monday.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria transmitted through the bites of infected deer ticks. Symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue. It is treated with antibiotics.

In the U.S., cases are most common in the Northeast.

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