Decrease in tick bite consultations and stabilization of early Lyme borreliosis in the Netherlands in 2014 after 15 years of continuous increase

Agnetha Hofhuis, Sita Bennema, Margriet Harms, A.J.H. van Vliet, W. Takken, C.C. van den Wijngaard, Wilfrid van Pelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Nationwide surveys have shown a threefold increase in general practitioner (GP) consultations for tick bites and early Lyme borreliosis from 1994 to 2009 in the Netherlands. We now report an update on 2014, with identical methods as for the preceding GP surveys.

Methods
To all GPs in the Netherlands, a postal questionnaire was sent inquiring about the number of consultations for tick bites and erythema migrans diagnoses (most common manifestation of early Lyme borreliosis) in 2014, and the size of their practice populations.

Results
Contrasting to the previously rising incidence of consultations for tick bites between 1994 and 2009, the incidence decreased in 2014 to 488 consultations for tick bites per 100,000 inhabitants, i.e., 82,000 patients nationwide. This survey revealed a first sign of stabilization of the previously rising trend in GP diagnosed erythema migrans, with 140 diagnoses per 100,000 inhabitants of the Netherlands. This equals about 23,500 annual diagnoses of erythema migrans nationwide in 2014.

Conclusions
In contrast to the constantly rising incidence of GP consultations for tick bites and erythema migrans diagnoses in the Netherlands between 1994 and 2009, the current survey of 2014 showed a first sign of stabilization of erythema migrans diagnoses and a decreased incidence for tick bite consultations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number425
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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