Lyme Disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)
Lyme disease is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Lyme disease is a potentially serious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi). Humans and animals can become infected with B. burgdorferi, following the bite of an infected deer tick, also called the “black-legged tick”. Approximately 80 percent of persons with Lyme disease will develop an erythema migrans (EM) or “bull’s-eye” rash around or near the site of the bite. The rash will generally appear 3 to 30 days (usually 7-14 days) following the tick bite. If you think you have Lyme disease, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible. In the early stages of Lyme disease, people can be successfully treated with antibiotic therapy.
In the United States, over 90% of Lyme disease cases are reported from states in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and upper north-central regions, and several counties in northwestern California. The presence of “true” Lyme disease in the southern states, including Oklahoma, is controversial. This is because B. burgdorferi has never been isolated from a human residing in a southern state. However, other evidence suggests that it could be possible to get Lyme disease in Oklahoma. Studies have shown a small percentage of black-legged ticks found in Oklahoma are infected with B. burgdorferi. Although rare, it appears possible to get Lyme disease in Oklahoma. Please visit the links below for additional information on Lyme disease.
The diagnosis and classification of Lyme disease is further confounded by the presence of a newly identified tickborne disease called Southern Tick Associate Rash Illness (STARI). Please visit our STARI page for additional information.
External Lyme Disease Resources:
Lyme Disease (CDC)