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Q: The reported incidences of Lyme disease in Ipswich Massachusetts. ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: The reported incidences of Lyme disease in Ipswich Massachusetts.
Category: Health
Asked by: donnap5-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 08 Oct 2004 21:57 PDT
Expires: 07 Nov 2004 20:57 PST
Question ID: 412361
How many incidences of Lyme disease were reported in Ipswich
Massachusetts in the years, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003? What was the
Mortality rate related to the reported incidences of Lyme disease for
those years? Please include references.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 09 Oct 2004 05:00 PDT
Helo donnap5-ga,

Data on Lyme disease in Mass. appears to be reported by county rather
than city.  There are incidence numbers for Essex County for the years
you asked about (roughly about 200 cases per year), but not for
Ipswich itself, as far as I can see.

Although Lyme disease can lead to fatal complications, I believe there
are actually very few deaths associated with the disease.  I did not
find any statistics on fatalities in Mass.

Would the incidence data for Essex County meet your needs?

Let me know.


Clarification of Question by donnap5-ga on 09 Oct 2004 20:16 PDT
The incidence data for Essex county will meet my needs.
Subject: Re: The reported incidences of Lyme disease in Ipswich Massachusetts.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 09 Oct 2004 20:41 PDT
Hello donnap5-ga,

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
thrive in.

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
rarely deadly.

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

Request for Answer Clarification by donnap5-ga on 10 Oct 2004 12:47 PDT
This information is just perfect can you possibly refer me to any
other articles pertaining to Lyme disease in Essex County?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 10 Oct 2004 16:43 PDT
Hello again,

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.



July 15, 2003 
Lyme chaser;
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

...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.

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