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Geographic Distribution of Ticks in the United States - CDC Maps 2012


USA TODAY (Arlington, VA) - Saturday, June 8, 1991
Author: MARILYN LEARY: (c) Gannett News Service

The first confirmed case of tick-borne
Lyme disease caught in Southern California - at Cucamonga Peak - has been reported by the San Bernardino County Public Health Department.

Two other cases this year, one in Lytle Creek and one in Forest Falls, are strongly suspected of having been caught in the county.

"We suspect other cases, but a bite wasn't confirmed or the tick wasn't kept. Lab tests confirmed the disease , but the site couldn't be proven," said Gary Euler, county epidemiologist.
disease , transmitted in California by the bite of the black-legged tick, can cause a sometimes deadly heart disorder as well as dangerous neurological illnesses and severe, lifelong arthritis.

Early symptoms include a rash where the bite occurred and headache, fever and malaise.

If treated early with antibiotics, the
disease usually can be cured.

Thirteen cases have been reported in San Bernardino County since 1989, when reporting began for
Lyme disease .

Most occurred in people believed to have contracted the
disease in other states - particularly the Northeast, where Lyme disease is prevalent - or in Northern California.

Orange County officials recently announced that a tick captured in San Clemente harbored the bacteria that causes
Lyme disease , but no cases originating in Orange County have been confirmed, Euler said.

Confirmation of the Cucamonga Peak case came from the state Department of Health Services after it tested ticks collected on the mountain by county environmental health services workers.

The victim, a 55-year-old Fontana teacher, was hiking in February with Sierra Club friends near an area known as Tick Outlook.

He found a tick on his abdomen when he returned home, removed it and kept it. When a bull's-eye rash appeared, he consulted his doctor at
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana.

Blood tests showed he had been infected with
Lyme disease and the state confirmed the tick carried the disease . The patient was given 14 days of tetracycline antibiotic treatment and has recovered, Euler said.

A second case of
Lyme disease was diagnosed in a 10-month-old girl who lives in Forest Falls.

A black-legged tick was found on her back in April. It was removed, but then discarded.

The baby, who never has been away from Forest Falls, was given antibiotic treatment and recovered.

A Riverside woman diagnosed with
Lyme disease probably contracted it on a 1989 fishing trip to Lytle Creek, but a tick bite could not be confirmed.

Two other cases likely contracted in San Bernardino County occurred in Chino Hills residents, one in 1989 and the other in 1990. A tick bite could not be confirmed in either case.

Statewide, more than 200 cases of
Lyme disease have been reported this year, most in the northwest coastal areas. California had 250 cases in the last six months of 1989 and 345 in 1990. Nationwide, 1,511 cases of Lyme disease have been reported so far this year.

The black-legged tick has been found in 53 of California's 58 counties, but only about 1 to 2 percent carry the
Lyme disease bacteria, said Robert Murray, epidemiologist with the infectious disease branch of the state health department in Oakland.

In California, black-legged ticks are active October through May and usually are found in San Bernardino County at elevations of 3,000 feet or more. In Copyright since 2000