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The geographic distribution of Lyme disease in the United States.

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In 1982, national surveillance for
Lyme disease was established by the Centers for
Disease Control to monitor trends and determine endemic geographic areas. Initially, the endemic areas corresponded to the known distribution of Ixodes dammini, a five-state area of the northeastern seaboard (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) and Wisconsin and Minnesota. Increasing numbers of cases have been reported outside these areas, however, 86% of the provisional 5731 cases reported to CDC were acquired in these seven states. The number of reported cases increased from 491 in 1982 to approximately 1500 per year in 1984-1986, making
Lyme disease the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. The apparently widening distribution of
Lyme disease indicates that physicians in all regions of the country should be familiar with its signs and symptoms. Investigations of the vector in areas endemic for
Lyme disease where Ixodes ticks are not found are warranted.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;539:283-8.

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