Number of the Day: 4,598

July 19, 2011 | Number of The Day

Scientists have not found a definitive link between the prevalence of deer with the cases of Lyme disease. But one thing’s for sure, New Jersey has a lot of both. In 2009, New Jersey had the second highest number of cases of Lyme disease, with 4,598 confirmed and 375 additional probable cases.

The only state with a greater number of cases that year is Pennsylvania. However, when it came to incidents based on population, Delaware, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts had a more serious problem. New Jersey’s incident rate was 52.8 that year (52.8 incidents per 100,000 population.)

The spring and summer months are the most likely time to contract Lyme disease, since most people are infected through bites of tiny, immature ticks. Adult ticks can also transmit the disease, but they are usually discovered before the 36-48 hours it takes to complete the transmission.
Early diagnosis of the disease is critical, because when caught early it can be treated with antibiotics without any aftereffects. Symptoms of the disease include an expanding red rash, fatigue and muscle aches. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause arthritis, neurological complaints, headaches and facial palsy.