Kathleen Horn, RN, CIC
Director of Infection Prevention
Hunterdon Healthcare System
Flemington, New Jersey
Lyme disease is a multisystem disease that occurs in North America, Europe, and Asia; it is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. The number of reported cases has increased steadily since 1982, when systematic national surveillance was initiated. Most individuals diagnosed early with the characteristic rash, erythema migrans (EM), respond well to short courses of oral antibiotics. In patients who present with later stages of illness, the diagnosis is based on clinical and epidemiological evidence of disease and is supported by serologic testing. The stage and organ system involved guide the selection of an antibiotic regimen. Personal protective measures are important for prevention of infection. An effective recombinant OspA vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans in 1998 but is no longer commercially available; new vaccines are in development. Lyme disease is endemic in several areas in the United States. Lyme disease is a national notifiable disease (voluntary); however, many states require mandatory surveillance and reporting.
Last Revised: 12/13/09 11:01 PM
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