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January 03, 2017

Pennsylvania has the most Lyme disease cases in the nation

CDC Lyme Disease
122715_Ticks Stock/AP

Tick on plant straw.

Pennsylvania has taken the top spot for the most reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were 12,092 cases of the disease in the state reported in 2016 through Dec. 24, whereas New Jersey had just 3,850 cases, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported late last week.

New York, which took the No. 2 spot in most reported cases in the nation based on the preliminary data, had just 4,002. 

The CDC said that more than 30,000 cases are reported annually.

Pennsylvania's total has increased dramatically in just the last year – about 9,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2015, the newspaper reported.

Lyme disease can be transmitted through "infected backlegged ticks," according to the CDC. Recognized most commonly by a red, bull's-eye rash, preliminary symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue.

Over time, the disease can attack the body's immune system, heart and joints if left untreated. Antibiotics can often cure the disease if treated early enough, however.

The finalized numbers have not yet been released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

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