VA State Memorandum

May 11, 2010


Department for the Aging

1610 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Richmond, Virginia 23229

Toll-Free: 1-800-552-3402 (Voice/TTY) · Phone: 804-662-9333 · Fax: 804-662-9354

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TO: Executive Directors

Area Agencies on Aging

FROM: Kathy Miller, Director of Programs

DATE: May 11, 2010

SUBJECT: Lyme Disease

While several types of tick-borne disease (including Rocky Mountain spotted fever) are

found in Virginia, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection reported in

the state.

Since 2000, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has witnessed a steady increase in the

number of newly identified Lyme disease cases. In 2007, Lyme disease increased

dramatically and has remained high since that time. This increase has followed a pattern of

geographic spread of Lyme activity southward and westward from northern regions of the

state. Most cases occur during the late spring and early summer with illness onset most

likely to occur in June, July and August.

It is important to remember that ticks become more active with warmer weather, increasing

the risk of tick-borne disease. Particularly throughout the spring and summer, you are

encouraged to maintain a heightened awareness. Follow practices that will decrease the

risk of acquiring Lyme disease, such as proper clothing when outdoors, use of repellants,

and prompt removal of ticks.

Common symptoms of Lyme disease include the following:

* Fever, headaches

*Malaise, fatigue

* Erythema migrans skin lesion ("bull's-eye rash")

* Myalgia, migratory arthralgias

* Stiff neck