Facts about Lyme Disease

The facts about Lyme disease:

  • Lyme disease is the most frequently reported vector-borne illness in the United States.
  • Confirmed cases of Lyme disease have been reported to the CDC from every state, except Hawaii. (CDC, 2013)
  • Not everyone who contracts Lyme disease will develop the “characteristic” bull’s eye rash. Estimates range from as few as 27% to as many as 80%. (Literature review on Lyme.org)
  • Laboratory testing is outdated and misses at least 40% of cases, whether someone has a bull’s eye rash or a chronic case of Lyme disease. (Rebman et al., 2014; Fallon et al., 2014; Johnson & Stricker, 1997)
  • The CDC states there are 300,000 new cases per year, but CDC-funded research suggests new cases could actually number 600,000 or more. (Hook et al, 2013)
  • More than a third of patients will fail standard antibiotic treatment and suffer chronic symptoms of Lyme disease. (Aucott [Johns Hopkins] 2013a; Aucott [Johns Hopkins] 2013b)
  • 1.5 million patients currently suffer from post-treatment symptoms, outnumbering the 1.2 million living with HIV. (Hook et al, 2013, SpiroChicks.com, 2014)
  • Two-thirds of chronic Lyme patients changed their work status to accommodate their illness: Forty-two percent stopped work, and another quarter reduced their work hours or modified their job to accommodate their illness. (Johnson, 2014)
  • Most insurance companies refuse to pay for curative treatment after 30 days.
  • Most Lyme patients must seek non-covered care.
  • 43% of chronic Lyme patients spend more than $5,000 out-of-pocket per year for non-covered care, compared to 6% of the general population. (Johnson, 2014)
  • Patients with chronic Lyme disease feel unrested 20.3 of 30 days a month, “significantly exceeding the number of unrested days reported by those with cancer (12.5).” (Johnson, 2014)
  • Quality of Life studies show patients with chronic Lyme score worse than patients with diabetes, heart disease, depression, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. On a measure of fatigue, patients with chronic Lyme scored considerably worse than patients with ALS or MS. (Klempner, Cameron, Fallon, Krupp and others, 1994 – 2012; ILADS Guidelines, 2014)
  • Eleven percent of Lyme disease patients will be rendered disabled by post-treatment symptoms, creating at least 30,000 new disabilities per year. (Aucott et al, 2013)
  • The direct and indirect costs of Lyme disease may approach $100 billion per year. (Spirochicks.com, 2014; updating Maes et al, 1998)
  • Lyme disability payments alone could cost taxpayers almost half a billion per year. (Spirochicks.com, 2014)
  • Lyme disease makes up a half percent of the NIH 2014 infectious diseases budget. HIV/AIDS accounts for three-fifths of the $5 billion infectious diseases budget. (NIH, 2014)
  • There are about 13,000 published studies on Lyme disease, about the same as for acne. There are more than 350,000 papers on HIV or AIDS and around 3 million papers on cancer. (PubMed, 2014)

Thanks to the ladies at Spirochicks for compiling these facts! Check out there blog for more great information!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s