man on street corner during cold winter

Are Lyme Disease Symptoms Worse In Winter?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by infected ticks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 30,000 people are infected with Lyme disease each year. However, that number is estimated to be much higher (as high as 475,000 cases). The reason for the vast difference in statistics is likely due to the way national surveillance records the cases – the smaller number of cases is simply what is reported to the CDC, not the exact total number of cases documented.

Either way, too many people are affected by the disease in the US, especially considering the long-term consequences of Lyme disease and the dire strain it can put on a person’s health. With Lyme disease, many people often experience symptoms that mimic other conditions and can last long after treatment. These symptoms have the potential to be debilitating. But does the season affect how severe Lyme disease can be? Are Lyme disease symptoms worse in winter? Let’s investigate.

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Infectolab - tick on plant

What Extreme Weather Conditions Will Mean For The Global Tick Population

For Lyme disease to thrive in the United States, tick populations also need to thrive. It’s a cyclical occurrence that when ticks have a “good” year, Lyme disease numbers tend to increase. With the global onset of environmental changes, though, the effects on the United States climate have been detrimental.

Consider the wildfires that rage through California. Although climate change may not be a direct cause, it is a threat multiplier, meaning that it increases the risk that such events will be worse than in previous years. But what does this have to do with tick populations and Lyme disease?

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