Since 2009, the Number of Probable Lyme Disease Cases in N.C. Has Jumped from 39 to 242 | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Since 2009, the Number of Probable Lyme Disease Cases in N.C. Has Jumped from 39 to 242 

click to enlarge A female Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick

Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian Institute, Lorenza Beati

A female Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick

Last week, The News & Observer published a story with an alarming headline: "Lyme disease is spreading in NC," it read, "but where—and how fast—depends on who you ask."

The tick-borne illness, the article went on to explain, is on the rise in North Carolina, but its scale is up for debate. This is not insignificant. The illness can lead to cognitive impairments if left untreated—and this time of year, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, is prime for Lyme disease cases.

Critics have long complained that the DHHS has downplayed and undercounted the spread of Lyme disease, even once taking the position that it couldn't be contracted in North Carolina even when there were confirmed cases in the state. That's no longer the case. In 2011, the DHHS acknowledged that it was possible to acquire Lyme disease in the state, a move that helped shift the paradigm away from denial.

But even with a new approach, it's still not easy to figure out how widespread it is. According to DHHS data, there were 82 total cases of Lyme disease in 2010; in 2016, there were 277. Those numbers, however, include both confirmed and probable cases, which are two different things. (Probable cases are those that have been diagnosed by a physician and have laboratory evidence of infection, while individuals with confirmed cases also present physical, neurological, or cardiac manifestations of the disease.) As a closer look at the DHHS data shows, the number of probable cases has increased dramatically in recent years, from 95 in 2012 to 242, while the number of confirmed cases has stayed about the same.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and …

by Tryan Banme on A History of Donald Trump’s Racism, Abridged (Triangulator)

"Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years."

?! The hardware for a fully autonomous …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Most Recent Comments

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and …

by Tryan Banme on A History of Donald Trump’s Racism, Abridged (Triangulator)

"Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years."

?! The hardware for a fully autonomous …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years.

And even if that managed to come …

by Mark Neill on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

It's a very bad time to do any transportation project that is capital-intensive and long-term. The reason is that computer-driven …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Seriously? Time for opposers to get their heads out of the sand and see that Raleigh's growth is blowing up. …

by Granted on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation