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According to CDC surveillance statistics, only 52 cases of Lyme disease have been reported in Arizona in the past 10 years. These statistics may be misleading. Reported cases reflect the "tip of the iceberg," or only a fraction of the true cases. The CDC states there are approximately 30,000 reported cases of Lyme in the US, and acknowledges that it is underreported by 10 fold.  This means that there are a minimum of 200,000 cases in the US that meet the CDC standard of diagnosis. 
Reporting criteria for the diagnosis of Lyme has been a huge debate among medical professionals.
Arizona is a magnet for retirees from the northeast and other areas where Lyme is highly endemic. These people may be infected in their home state and develop symptoms as they age and their immune systems become weaker.

There are over 25 species of ticks in Arizona that may carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Tularemia, Babesia and tick fever, as well as Lyme disease. If the tick that bites you is infected, it can inject Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream within hours of attachment. The bacteria can  also invade your brain and nervous system in less than 24 hours.
Lyme disease is totally curable if caught early.  In the later stages it is at  least manageable.

Lyme disease is under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-reported. Many people do not remember being bitten by the poppy-seed-sized tick. Doctors often prefer more familiar diagnoses like chronic fatigue, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, or mental illness - Lyme disease mimics many diseases. Too strict interpretation of insensitive tests leaves many people in a diagnostic limbo, getting sicker and without proper treatment. Most cases are not reported, leading to artificially low numbers, less recognition of the true costs of the disease and less funding for research.
Some Lyme Basics
  • Bartonella is the most common tick-borne disease in the US and Europe,  followed by Lyme disease.
  • Lyme is the fastest growing infectious disease in the US.
  • It is named after the town Old Lyme, Connecticut and was discovered in 1982..
  • Is caused by a bacterial infection that is a spirochete.
  • The bacterium is called Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.
  • It is most often acquired from the bite of an infected Ixodes tick.
  • Early symptoms: Erythema Migrans (EM) rash or a bulls eye rash, fever, malaise, fatigue, head ache, muscle and joint aches in large joints, sore throat and sinus infection.
  • May be misdiagnosed as many other diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, CFS, FMS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other neurological diseases.
  • Difficult to diagnose
  • Testing is not reliable
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Two standards of care: ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America. As of Summer of 2008, the ISDA (which states that chronic Lyme doesn't exist)  guidelines have been discredited. 
  • Prevention includes avoiding known tick infested areas, mosquito-tick repellant, completely covering with clothing and checking entire body including hair when home.
  • Learn proper tick removal, especially do not squeez the tick during removal.


The mission of the Arizona Lyme Disease Association is threefold:
  • Support
  • Education
  • Advocacy

We support those who are ill with Lyme and associated diseases, while we educate the public and the medical community. We also advocate for better knowledge of Lyme disease within the medical community, and for research into and development of new treatment methods.

AzLDA Arizona Lyme Disease Association is a
501(c)(3) Non-Profit affiliate of NEST, Inc.


Information on AZLDA

The AZLDA is currently run by several volunteers.  We receive many calls and inquires each month from people asking about Lyme Disease,  names of doctors, education and support.  We have regular monthly meetings in the Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff area. See Support Groups page.

For further information, you may contact one of the following people:

Physician Referrals, Education and Phone Support:


Phoenix area- Michelle Louie
Email: michelle.marie.louie @ gmail.com (close space before and after the @ symbol)
Phone: 602.635.0005

Tucson area-    


Northern Arizona-