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“Pandemic” isn’t a word responsible health experts toss around lightly. It refers to an infectious disease that’s run rampant—and it’s near the top of the list of major threats to human health. When pandemics occur, newshounds and public health officials jump on it, alerting the masses (albeit sometimes too slowly). When they don’t, pandemics continue to spread unabated. That’s what’s happening now, according to a growing cadre of experts, with Lyme disease.
The worldwide tick population is exploding, and with it, the incidence of Lyme. The number of confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S. more than doubled in the two decades leading up to 2017, and rose 17% from 2016 to 2017 alone. It’s estimated that 300,000 people contract Lyme each year in the U.S., with victims found not just in traditionally tick-heavy areas like upstate New York and Maine, but in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Lyme is also on the rise in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If all of that isn’t troubling enough, other tick-borne illnesses, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever—which experts say is significantly more dangerous than Lyme—are also becoming much more widespread.
“Tickpocalypse,” the collection of stories that follows, documents these looming threats, and shows you how to protect yourself and your family. It’s an eye-opening, and hopefully helpful, report.

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