Tracking Lyme disease involves collecting data about the number of confirmed and suspected or cases of Lyme disease.

This page provides general information about Lyme disease data and measures developed by the Iowa Public Health Tracking program. Contact us for more information about these data.

What do these data tell us?

For confirmed and probable human Lyme disease cases in Iowa:

  • The numbers of Lyme disease by year, gender, or age group in Iowa.
  • If a segment of a population is at higher risk for Lyme disease.
  • How the disease incidence is changing over time.

How can we use this data?

  • Provide information to the public about Lyme disease in Iowa.
  • State and local partners can use these data for program planning and evaluation.
  • Inform prevention guidelines for targeted public awareness & prevention campaigns during peak tick season.

What can these data not tell us?

  • The total burden of Lyme disease in a population, since not all Lyme disease cases are diagnosed or reported.
  • Where the person was when they were exposed to an infected tick.
  • The number or rate of occupationally-acquired cases of Lyme disease in Iowa.
  • How much climate change has influenced the changes in Lyme disease.

What are the sources of the data?

  • Lyme disease is reportable to Iowa HHS by Iowa Administrative Code 641 Chapter 1.

What time period of data is available?

  • The Iowa Public Health Tracking portal displays Lyme disease data from the year 2010 through the most recent year of data available.

How are the measures calculated?

  • Case Count: The case count indicates the total number of confirmed and probable human cases of Lyme disease reported to Iowa HHS.
  • Incidence Rate (Per 100K): The incidence rate is the total number of confirmed and probable human cases of Lyme disease reported per 100,000 population.

How are Lyme disease cases identified?

  • Potential cases are reported to Iowa HHS by physicians and diagnostic laboratories.

What are the limitations of the data?

  • People in Iowa need to see a physician and be diagnosed with Lyme disease to be considered a case. Those people who do not seek medical care will not be included in the case count.