Nearly 15% of People Worldwide Have Had Lyme Disease, Study Says

Lyme disease was first named nearly 50 years ago in Lyme, Connecticut, but the tick-borne disease is now found around the world. A new study published in BMJ Global Health estimates that 14.5% of the world’s population has, at some point, been infected with Lyme disease, which can cause short-term symptoms including a skin rash, fever, headache, and fatigue—as well as long-term ones, including damage to the joints, heart, and nervous system.

The scourge also appears to be getting worse. Lyme prevalence has doubled from 2010 to 2021, compared to 2001 to 2010.

The study, led by a team of researchers from the Institute for Tropical Medicine at Kunming Medical University in China, was a meta-analysis of 89 studies dating as far back as 1984 until 2021. That c…