Thank you for getting back to me on this.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Essex
County has a moderate incidence of Lyme Disease relative to other
counties in the state.
For the years 2000-2003, the case loads in Essex County were as follows:
2000 -- 199 cases.....27.5 cases per 100,000 people
2001 -- 154 cases.....21.3 per 100,000
2002 -- 237 cases.....32.8 per 100,000
2003 -- 187 cases.....25.8 per 100,000
In contrast, Dukes and Nantucket counties have incidence rates ranging
from 200 to over 500 cases per 100,000 people, while Suffolk County
has single digit rates.
The data -- along with a good deal of other information on Lyme
Disease in Massachusetts -- can be found at the Health Department's
webpage for Lyme Disease:
An article in the Boston Globe (9/15/2002) highlighted concerns about
Lyme Disease in Essex County, and spotlighted the Ipswich River
Wildlife Sanctuary as the sort of prime real estate that deer ticks
The article was:
Lyme Disease On The Rise
Health Risk is High in Essex County
I can't reproduce the article here since it is copyright-protected,
but a librarian should be able to get you a copy. The article notes
some of the same figures I provided you, and also provides some
numbers for individual towns (but not for Ipswich). Tellingly, there
is no mention of anyone dying from Lyme Disease in the area, which
seems to support the notion that the disease -- though serious -- is
I hope this information fully answers your question. But before
rating this answer, please let me know if you need any additional
information. Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy
to assist you further.
All the best,
search strategy -- Google searches on:
"lyme disease" ipswich massachusetts
"lyme disease" department health massachusetts
Clarification of Answer by
10 Oct 2004 16:43 PDT
Sure...glad to help.
There isn't that much actually that's specific to the Ipswich area,
but here are a few additional items.
Let me know if you need anything else.
TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
July 15, 2003
Tufts researcher pursues causes of debilitating disease's spread
[This article chronicles the work of Dr. Stephen Rich, who studies the
spread of the tick that causes the disease, and was one of the first
to note it in the area around Ipswich]
The Boston Globe
December 27, 2000
DEER PREFERRING SUBURBIA
GROWING NUMBERS SOURCE OF CONCERN
...The growing number of deer - just like the population explosion of
raccoons, skunks, and even coyotes that are moving into suburbia to
forage for food - is a nationwide problem. The deer eat ornamental
shrubs in yards, cause collisions with cars, and can carry a tick that
causes Lyme disease.
...Closer to Boston, the problem areas are in towns such as Topsfield,
Ipswich, and Hamilton, where there are about 25 deer per square mile,
40 percent more than officials prefer.
The Patriot Ledger
July 17, 1998
Lyme disease threat worse this year
Deer ticks are creeping farther up the South Shore, significantly
increasing the risk of Lyme disease.
"It's enough to be a health problem," said Andrew Spielman, a medical
entomologist who tracks the tick population for the state Department
of Public Health. "They're spreading out. The South Shore is an area
that seems to be growing and the infestation will increase."
...In addition to the South Shore, he is also monitoring Nantucket,
Martha's Vineyard, Framingham, Ipswich, Yarmouth and the Quabbin
reservation for ticks.