Reporting Lyme according to the CDC
Posted: Wed 8 Apr 2009 17:22
The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations.
First, an unknown portion of all Lyme disease cases are reported; cases probably are underreported in areas in which the disease is endemic and overreported in areas in which the disease is not endemic. Misdiagnosis and overreporting from areas in which the disease is not endemic might explain the demographic differences noted between cases reported from HP2010 and non-HP2010 reference states.
Second, variation in reporting practices and adherence to the surveillance case definition occurs among states, in part because states invest unequally in infrastructure for Lyme disease surveillance. As a result, Lyme disease--specific variables for cases reported by certain states are incomplete, unavailable, or not transmitted to CDC.
Finally, cases are reported on the basis of the patient's state of residence rather than on the state in which the exposure occurred. Therefore, Lyme disease in a traveler returning from an area in which the disease is highly endemic cannot be construed as evidence of local transmission.