Lyme Disease on Rise in Ohio

(May 4, 2016) Cases of Lyme disease have steadily increased in Ohio over the past four years (66 cases in 2012, 93 cases in 2013, 119 cases in 2014, 154 in 2015). This increase in cases coincides with the increase in Ohio of the principal vector, Ixodes scapularis (the blacklegged tick). This tick is found in at least 66 Ohio counties and the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, is endemic in at least 34 counties. Experts at the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) expect cases of Lyme disease to continue to increase as the blacklegged tick continues to become established in new areas of the state. 

In addition to Lyme disease, the blacklegged tick is known to transmit two other diseases in Ohio: anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

To better understand the epidemiology of emerging tick-borne diseases in Ohio and to continue raising awareness, ODH would like to ensure that all cases are detected. For this reason, ODH recommends that health care providers consider Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases in the differential diagnosis for patients who present with appropriate symptoms. The following tick-borne diseases are reportable diseases in Ohio, and any suspect or confirmed case should be reported to the local health department where the case resides:

Anaplasmosis & Ehrlichiosis (
Babesiosis (
Lyme disease (
Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis (

Read the memo from Medical Director and State Epidemiologist Mary DiOrio, MD.

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