You may be very surprised with the answer. I know I was. Old Lyme in Connecticut may be where Lyme Disease was first seen, but the Nutmeg State no longer carries the distinction of being the state with the highest number of confirmed cases.
According to the CDC statistics, carrying more than half of the confirmed cases in the United States through 2008 are:
- New York – 19.85%
- Massachusetts – 13.69%
- Pennsylvania – 13.2%
- New Jersey – 13.2%
Yes, they are all close to Connecticut and Connecticut is #5 with 9/46%. Now, which states carry the distinction of the lowest confirmed cases? Well, you are lucky if you live in Hawaii or Arkansas. Up through 2008, there are no confirmed nor suspected cases in those states.
From Mississippi, Oklahoma or Wyoming – with only 1 CDC confirmed case in each state through 2008 – you can pretty much consider yourself almost completely unlikely unless you travel to other places with a higher confirmed case rate. However, don’t be careless about ticks so soon. Estimates are that only approximately 10% of the doctor-confirmed cases are reported to the CDC.
The best prevention is to be very cognizant of safety precautions when spending time outdoors. Here is a great sheet from the CDC on tick bite prevention.