Lyme Disease Reporting and Surveillance

Lyme disease is a Category II reportable condition in Wisconsin. Health care providers should report to the patient's local public health department:
  • Electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS).
  • By mail or fax using a Lyme Disease Case Report Form, F-02188 (PDF).
  • By calling the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at 608-267-9003.

Reporting should be completed within 72 hours upon recognition of a case. For more information, please visit the DHS Disease Reporting page.

Watch our Lyme Disease Prevention: Tools and Tips webinar to learn about Lyme disease in Wisconsin, get updates on the most recent data, and access our new Lyme disease communications toolkit. Recorded May 6, 2019.

A video for health departments and their partners on Lyme disease data and resources.


 Guidance Resources

DHS Surveillance Resources
Provider Resources


Due to the possibility of false-positive, false-negative, and cross-reactivity in commercial tests, a two-step testing process, including the enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) screening assay and the Western immunoblot (WB) confirmatory assay, is recommended by the CDC for the diagnosis of Lyme disease. For the surveillance of Lyme disease, a two-step testing process is required to meet the case definition criteria.


Diagnosis of Lyme disease can be difficult and complicated. Many of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can be very similar to other viral and bacterial infections, rheumatoid arthritis, and other neurological diseases. Because Lyme disease is endemic in Wisconsin and antibodies to the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi may not be produced in the early stage of illness, Lyme disease diagnosis can be made in an ill patient who developed the typical EM rash characteristics without laboratory testing. For patients ill with other compatible clinical signs and symptoms and without EM rash present, the results of blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies to the bacteria can be used for diagnosis of Lyme infections.


Most people treated with oral antibiotics during the early stages of Lyme disease recover completely. It is important to get treatment as soon as possible after symptoms start. Antibiotics commonly used for oral treatment include doxycycline, cefuroxime axetil, or amoxicillin. The following table shows the current treatment recommendations from CDC for early stage Lyme disease in adults and children.

Treatment for Early Lyme Disease
Age Category Drug Dosage Maximum Duration, Days
Adults Doxycycline 100 mg, twice per day orally N/A 10–21
Adults Cefuroxime axetil 500 mg, twice per day orally N/A 14–21
Adults Amoxicillin 500 mg, twice per day orally N/A 14–21
Children Amoxicillin 50 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 3 doses 500 mg per dose 14–21
Children Doxycycline 4 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses 100 mg per dose 10–21
Children Cefuroxime axetil 30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses 500 mg per dose 14–21

If treatment is delayed, the bacteria can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system and have long-term effects. Lyme disease can be difficult to treat in later stages, and severe cases may require intravenous treatment. Some people may have symptoms that will not go away or return even after appropriate antibiotic treatment, a condition called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS).

Questions about illnesses spread by ticks? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last Revised: October 22, 2019