New England is one of the most dangerous areas of the country to contract Lyme disease, according the Center for Disease Control’s Lyme disease statistics for 2007. The states with the highest reported incidents of Lyme disease cases per 100,000 population (in order from the highest) are Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
Three states had no reported incidents of Lyme disease in 2007 – Hawaii, Colorado and South Dakota.
The ten states with the least number of reported incidents of Lyme disease tend to be located within the Sun Belt. They are (in order from the lowest rate) Hawaii, Colorado, South Dakota, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia and Kentucky.
Full statistics are published by the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/ld_statistics.htm .
Some groups have argued that chronic Lyme disease is responsible for a range of medically unexplained symptoms such as cognitive impairment and frank psychosis, including dementia, violent outbursts and schizophrenia-like disorders.
Terry Joe Sedlacek, the accused gunman in the fatal shooting of First Baptist Church of Maryville (IL) pastor Fred Winters, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Sedlacek was the recipient of a large fundraiser last year aimed at securing funds for treatment not covered by his insurance. Details of the fundraiser are published at http://media.bnd.com/smedia/2009/03/09/12/338-tjsflyer.source.prod_affiliate.98.pdf .
Rutgers University Cooperative Extension (in New Jersey, a high-incidence state) offers tips for preventing the infection of Lyme disease at http://tinyurl.com/preventlyme . Tourists are advised to become familiar with these tips before visiting high-incidence areas.