Health Indicator Report of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called ''Borrelia burgdorferi'' and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks, ''Ixodes scapularis''). Typical symptoms include chills, fever, bull's-eye rash, headache, and muscle pain. Lyme disease affects the central nervous system, heart, and joints in its advanced stages.
NotesAnnual estimates of the resident population (July 1, 2007-2018) were used to calculate New Jersey Lyme disease incidence rates by year. National surveillance case definition was revised in 2008 to include probable cases. 2007 incidence rate was calculated using confirmed cases. Incidence rates from 2008 to 2018 were calculated using confirmed and probable cases.
- Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System, Communicable Disease Service, New Jersey Department of Health, [http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/reporting/cdrss/]
- Population Estimates, [http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/dmograph/est/est_index.html State Data Center], New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Data Interpretation IssuesData were captured by county of residence, not county of exposure.
DefinitionIncidence (new cases) of Lyme disease
NumeratorNumber of Lyme disease cases reported to the New Jersey Department of Health
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population
How Are We Doing?The incidence of Lyme disease increased from 36.1 cases per 100,000 population in 2007 to 44.9 in 2018.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2015, 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States, however this disease does not occur nationwide and is concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest.[https://www.cdc.gov/Lyme/stats/index.html ^1^] The NJ 2018 incidence rate of 44.9 cases per 100,000 population remains far above the US 2017 incidence rate of 13.2.
What Is Being Done?The NJDOH [http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/ Communicable Disease Service] (CDS) has staff dedicated to the monitoring, control and prevention of vector-borne diseases, including Lyme disease. Specific activities performed by NJDOH CDS vector-borne illness staff include surveillance of vector-borne diseases, identifying risk factors, monitoring geographic trends, providing technical assistance and training and educating the public and public health partners. CDS and local health departments offer educational information about the spread, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease as well as how to safely remove a tick.
Evidence-based PracticesIndividuals can take preventive measures to protect against Lyme disease. Knowing where ticks live (in or near wooded or grassy areas) and walking in the center of trails can help avoid contact with ticks. Keeping your yard clean by mowing lawns, clearing brush and removing leaf litter removes tick habitats. Applying EPA-registered insect repellent on skin and permethrin on clothing, boots and camping gear helps to keep ticks off your body. Wearing light-colored clothes can help you spot ticks and wearing long sleeves and pants tucked into socks can prevent ticks from getting under clothes. Checking your body for ticks and showering after being outdoors, ideally within 2 hours, can help find and wash off unattached ticks.
Page Content Updated On 09/04/2019, Published on 09/05/2019