July 16, 2015 -- There has been a significant increase of areas in the United States where people are at high risk for Lyme disease, a federal government study says.
There are now 260 counties where the number of Lyme disease cases is at least twice as high as what's expected given the size of a county's population, up from 130 counties a decade ago, the Associated Press reported.
"The risk is expanding, in all directions," Kiersten Kugeler of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. She is lead author of the study published Wednesday in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Lyme disease cases are concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest, and this study said more areas in those regions are now considered high-risk for the tick-borne disease, the AP reported.
All of Connecticut has been considered high-risk for decades. Now, nearly all of Massachusetts and New Hampshire are classified as high-risk, along with more than half of Maine and Vermont.
Other states with newly-added high-risk areas include Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the AP reported.