Lyme Disease

This spring and summer may be a doozy for Lyme disease, at least in parts of the Northeast.

"We're anticipating 2017 to be a particularly risky year for Lyme," says Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.

Ostfeld has been studying the debilitating tick-borne disease for more than 20 years, and has developed an early warning system based on mice. For more on that, check out the piece in our sister blog, Goats and Soda.

Kentucky health experts say Lyme disease is likely underdiagnosed in the commonwealth, in part because it is rarely seen in the state. The number of cases is rising nationally, but just five cases were reported in Kentucky in each of the past two years. Kentucky Department for Public Health policy specialist Mike Schardein tells The Courier-Journal that he believes there are several cases that haven't been confirmed because doctors don't test for it. Lyme disease is spread by the black-legged deer tick, rarely seen in Kentucky.