Identification of the Lyme Disease Vectorin Southwest Virginia
In the mid-1970s, fifty-one residents from the quaint little Atlantic seaside town of Lyme, Connecticut came down with something that resembled rheumatoid arthritis (Garrett, 1994). The ailment was dubbed Lyme disease and quickly spread to all fifty states. Once physicians became aware of the symptoms, the disease was diagnosed in many states of the Northeast, but there was a clear upward trend in Lyme disease found throughout the United States. By 1992, Lyme disease was the most reported vector-borne disease in the country (Steere, et al.). In fact, from 1995 to 2009, more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) by state health departments and the District of Columbia (http://www.cdc.gov/nc) (Appendix A). During this 14-year period, most of the cases were reported from northeastern states including Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. In 1982, Lyme disease was first seen in Virginia and, following the nationwide trend, has steadily increased since that time (Lyme Disease, 2010b). The cases of Lyme disease in Virginia included 29,959 confirmed cases and 8,509 probable cases being reported just in 2009 (http://www.cdc.gov/nc).