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Vector-borne Diseases

Lyme Disease - TOTAL

Current Value

23

May 2024

Definition

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Why Is This Important?

Lyme disease is the top vector-borne disease in the United States that is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected blacklegged tick. In fact, it is so common that in 2022 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately 63,000 cases were reported. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, a rash in a “bull’s eye” appearance, headaches, and more. The only way to know for sure if an individual has Lyme disease is through laboratory tests. Luckily, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics and with early diagnosis, late Lyme disease can be prevented. It is important to remain vigilant while outside, by using insect repellents with DEET, and checking your body regularly for ticks.

Story Behind the Curve

Cases of reportable disease in the state of Ohio are reported by providers and laboratories to local health departments using a system called Ohio Disease Report System (ODRS). This allows for local health departments (LHDs) to accurately monitor and investigate any case of disease requiring follow-up, isolation/exclusion, or guidance to prevent further transmission. This also allows LHDs to collect accurate data on how many cases of certain disease they have in their county to create graphs like the one you see! Using data from previous years, public health professionals can create threshold data to get a detailed prediction of what is “normal” for their county during a specific period.

What We Do

Any positive laboratory test for Lyme disease is reported to local health departments (LHDs) and is followed up on. Licking County Health Department (LCHD) will engage the provider and request more information regarding the patient, such as symptoms and if treatment was initiated. As the individual gets more tests done, LCHD can further classify the case and move forward with patient interviews. LCHD has seen a significant increase in the number of locally acquired cases in Licking County over the last five years. In fact, Lyme disease is one of the top reportable diseases in the county and LCHD is working to conduct additional surveillance and education.

Partnerships

Licking County Health Department (LCHD) engages with providers every time we request treatment and symptom information for an individual. LCHD is currently in the process of developing a tick program within the health department that will allow tick surveillance consistently to continue monitoring Lyme disease within the county.

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Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy