Ohio Lyme Disease Cases On The Rise

Tick warning sign in a grassy meadow.
Lyme disease, spread by ticks, has been on the rise over the last several years. [Schlegelfotos / Shutterstock]
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With warmer weather and backyards full of deer, Lyme disease is on the minds of the public health community.

Back in the 90s, Ohio saw a handful of Lyme disease cases. Now, that number is well into the hundreds each year. There were nearly 300 cases in 2018, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health. Last year, Cuyahoga County had 25 cases, the highest in the state.

Lyme disease is spread by tick bites. The CDC says the rise in cases is linked to climate change and suburban development which puts people in closer contact with host species like deer.

If you do get bitten by a tick, it’s important to remove it quickly and completely, with tweezers, to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Lyme disease will sometimes but not always be accompanied by a bull’s eye rash. Caught early, Lyme disease is highly treatable with antibiotics.

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