Lyme Disease: Wisconsin Data

Lyme disease is native to Wisconsin. There has been an increase in disease incidence over the last three decades as Lyme disease has spread across the state.

In 2018, Wisconsin had 3,105 estimated cases of Lyme disease. The average number of reported cases has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the total number of cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. is about 10 times higher than what is reported through surveillance. The total number of cases in Wisconsin is likely much greater than what is reported. Wisconsin is one of the states reporting the highest number of cases.

Below are the statewide data for Lyme disease. For information on national Lyme disease data, visit the CDC National Lyme Disease Data and Statistics page.

Confirmed Cases of Lyme Disease, 2018.

 

Visit the easy-to-use Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking data portal for information on county-level data.

Borrelia burgdorferi Data

Lyme Disease Cases in Wisconsin (1990–2018)

This graph shows Wisconsin Lyme disease cases broken down by confirmed, probable, and estimated cases.

Lyme disease cases in Wisconsin (1990 to 2018).

In 2008, the surveillance case definition changed to include probable cases. In 2012, the Division of Public Health modified the way in which Lyme disease surveillance is conducted to address the increased burden of Lyme disease reporting on local health departments and medical care providers. This change introduced the need for estimated cases to account for those cases that would have been reported through the surveillance system prior to 2012.

Lyme Disease Incidence in Wisconsin (1990–2018)

This incidence trend line of Lyme disease cases reflects what is shown in the bar graph above.

Graph: Lyme disease incidence per 100,000 in Wisconsin.

Cases Reported by Month and Age

Month of Illness Onset

Most cases of Lyme disease occur in the months of June and July. However, it is possible to get Lyme disease whenever ticks are active (when temperatures are above freezing). It is important to always use prevention techniques when spending time outdoors.

Average confirmed Lyme Disease by month (2014-2018).

Age Group

Lyme disease is seen most frequently in younger and older Wisconsinites. However, people of all ages can become infected with Lyme disease.

Average confirmed Lyme Disease by age group (2014-2018).

Borrelia mayonii Data

Most cases of Lyme disease are caused by the bacterium B. burgdorferi. However, a rare, newly emerging species, B. mayonii, was first detected in 2013 in the Midwest, with seven cases in Wisconsin residents from 2013 to 2018.

Lyme Disease Cases in Wisconsin (2013–2018)

Lyme Disease Cases in Wisconsin, 2013 to 2018.

Cases Reported by Month and Age

Month of Illness Onset

Lyme Disease Cases by Month, 2013 to 2018.

Age Group

Lyme Disease Cases by Age Group, 2013 to 2018.

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Last Revised: July 23, 2019