Researcher Seeks Better Picture of Lyme Disease Cases in Texas

via Global Lyme Alliance

The article was written by Brittany Magelssen for The University of Texas at Dallas on September 1, 2021

Dr. Sarah Maxwell, author of the study mentioned in the article, is a GLA ambassador, part of the Lyme Education Ambassador Program.

Deer ticks are known for transmitting Lyme disease throughout North America. Many Lyme disease cases go unreported to county health agencies in part because they do not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s specific criteria for the disease. More than 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported each year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although this number is believed to be an underestimate of the total number of cases of Lyme disease actually diagnosed and the U.S. State-level surveillance is one way of tracking when and where the disease occurs, but recent estimates using other methods suggest that the actual number of patients may be more than 10 times higher than the number reported to the CDC.

In a study published June 21 in the journal Healthcare, a researcher from The University of Texas at Dallas employed new approaches to tick-borne disease surveillance in Texas with the goal of linking differing forms of surveillance data into one comprehensive picture. Dr. Sarah Maxwell, corresponding author of the study and associate professor of public and nonprofit management in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS), and her co-authors found that mapping the geographic locations of self-reported tick bite encounters with CDC-confirmed Lyme disease cases could offer a granular-level surveillance method and aid in assessing Lyme disease risk in areas perceived to be nonendemic to the tick-borne pathogen.

Read more at Global Lyme Alliance