1977 — Year researchers at Yale published papers describing “Lyme arthritis,” named for an outbreak around Lyme, Connecticut

36 to 48 — Minimum number of hours a tick needs to feed on a person before it can transmit Lyme disease  (please see my comment below)

0.137 — Average maximum size, in inches, of adult deer ticks, the primary transmitters of Lyme disease; younger ticks can be as small as a poppy seed

4,618 — Estimated cases of Lyme in Massachusetts in 2016; the average since 2012 is 5,048 per year

132 — Estimated cases of Lyme in Suffolk County in 2016

96% — Percent of Lyme disease cases in the US occur in 14 states in the Northeast and Midwest; New England states have the highest number per 100,000 people  (See comment)The Tick, created by Pembroke’s Ben Edlund for New England Comics.

The Tick, created by Pembroke’s Ben Edlund for New England Comics.

20-25% — Approximate chances a deer tick in a high-risk area like the Northeast will carry Lyme disease

> 80-90% — Percentage of cases in which a person with Lyme disease develops a rash (not always the telltale bull’s-eye) at the bite spot  (See Comment)

10 — The time, in minutes, it takes for a dryer set on high to kill any live ticks on clothing

1998 — Year SmithKlineBeecham’s LYMErix vaccine for humans was approved for sale; it was pulled from the market in 2002 due to poor sales (See Comment)

2009 — Year Merck released Nobivac, a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs that has since been administered safely to more than 2 million canines


“Don’t make us bite you in hard-to-reach places!” — The Tick, a spoof superhero created by Pembroke’s Ben Edlund for New England Comics (from the animated TV series 1994-1997)

Sources: Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Lyme Disease Association; LymeDisease.org; NIH; New England Comics; PubMed; Yale