National Study Finds Lyme Disease 10 Times Greater Than Reported to CDC; Quidel-Sponsored Webinar Reveals Prevalence and Patterns of Lyme Disease

Aug. 19, 2020 11:00 UTC

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The number of Americans afflicted with Lyme disease was found to be 10 times greater than the 30,000 cases reported each year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a groundbreaking seven-year clinical study just released. The findings were presented at a webinar sponsored by Quidel, the California-based diagnostic healthcare manufacturer known for successfully developing rapid diagnostic health solutions.

The clinical study tracked the testing of 5.2 million people from throughout the United States and found that as many as 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease each year. It further found that Lyme disease occurs in all age groups, in all regions of the country and shows no particular preference for gender. The study was conducted by Elizabeth Lee-Lewandrowski, Ph.D., MPH, a national key opinion leader on tick-borne diseases, in conjunction with her collaborators ( Dr. Lee-Lewandrowski is a member of the faculty of the department of pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where she also serves as a clinical laboratory scientist in chemistry. She is also assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

“Our hope is that these findings will lead to an increase in the general population’s awareness of Lyme disease prevention, along with increased clinical awareness in the importance of testing for Lyme disease and tick-borne infections,” said Dr. Lee-Lewandrowski.

Other key findings of the landmark study include:

  • As suspected, Lyme disease has a seasonal peak in June, July and August. However, significant testing occurs, with many positive results, in the winter months as well and throughout the entire year.
  • Lyme disease occurs in all age groups. While the greater volume of testing and positive results is found in older and middle-age adults, a higher rate of positive results is found in children and young adults. This may be an upshot of children being more engaged on a regular basis in outside activities that could expose them to tick bites.
  • Males and females are roughly equally at risk, with the rate of positivity being 12.4% for males and 10.5% for females.
  • Just 14 states accounted for 85% of the cases. New York had the greatest number of tests and positive results, but when normalized for each state’s population, the states with the most incidents per 1,000 residents were Connecticut (15.2% positive results compared to number of patients tested), Massachusetts (14.8%), Rhode Island (14.1%) and Pennsylvania (13.8%).
  • Lyme disease is becoming more common in states that traditionally had low incidents of infections with particular growth seen in California, Texas and Florida. The lowest incident states were Montana (3.7% positive results compared to number of patients tested), Wyoming (4.9%), Utah (5.4%) and Colorado (5.6%).

The webinar on which Dr. Lee-Lewandrowski reported these findings is part of an ongoing series hosted by Quidel to help inform physicians, other allied health professionals, scientists and healthcare researchers on the latest information regarding the prevalence of Lyme disease and results of testing. Dr. Lee-Lewandrowski’s webinar, and all past Quidel webinars, can be found at

About Quidel Corporation

Quidel Corporation serves to enhance the health and well-being of people around the globe through the development of diagnostic solutions that can lead to improved patient outcomes and provide economic benefits to the healthcare system. Quidel’s products aid in the detection and diagnosis of many critical diseases and conditions including not only Lyme disease but, among others, COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, strep A, herpes, pregnancy, thyroid disease, fecal occult blood, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, pulmonary edema, deep vein thrombosis and drug abuse. Quidel’s research and development engine is also developing a continuum of diagnostic solutions from advanced immunoassay to molecular diagnostic tests to further improve the quality of healthcare in physicians’ offices and hospital and reference laboratories. For more information about Quidel, visit

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Jim Yeager
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Source: Quidel Corporation

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