Tick-borne illness in Indiana
At least 20 different disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites are known to be transmitted from ticks to people. Depending on the disease, patients can experience symptoms that range from mild infections to chronic illness or death. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 59,349 cases of tick-borne disease were reported in 2017, with Lyme disease accounting for more than 4 out 5 cases.
Though cases of tick-borne illness are relatively rare in Indiana, reports have been growing steadily in the last decade and likely underestimate the scope of the problem.
132 – the average number of Lyme disease cases reported annually in Indiana from 2013 to 2017, more than double the average annual cases for the previous 5-year period
1300 – percent increase in the number of confirmed cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Indiana comparing the most recent 5-year reporting period (2013 to 2017; 232 cases) to the previous 5-year reporting period (2008 to 2012; 17 cases)
180 – cases of ehrlichiosis reported in Indiana from 2013 to 2017, more than five times the number of cases recorded in the previous 5-year reporting period
15 – number of tick species found in Indiana; however, only three tick species—the blacklegged tick, the American dog tick, and the lone star tick—present a danger to humans
274??? – private properties sampled for ticks by researchers from the IU School of Public Health, part of a study into the threats posed by ticks near human habitation
20 – sites in Central and Southern Indiana that are being sampled for ticks over multiple years by researchers from IU’s biology department to better understand tick activity in the state
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indiana Department of Health