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Lyme Disease in Washington State

Lyme and tick borne disease information for Washington State is of poor quality.

A study of tick distribution was done in 1990. Though it identified approximate locations of the types of ticks found, an analysis of ticks for diseases was never done.

This map, no longer available, essentially showed the distribution of the Ixodes pacificus tick (the primary Lyme disease carrier) throughout the region west of the Cascade Mountains. A facsimile of this map is included under “Maps” below. Normally, over time and without intervention, tick populations can be expected
to increase both in numbers and in geographic distribution

Yet, even without a tick disease analysis or any supporting data, the Washington

State Department of Health continues to state Lyme disease is rare or absent in

Washington.  Also, the importance of the study on Lyme disease transmitted by the

Ixodes angustus tick (referenced below) should be noted. This tick has wide distribution

in the Far West ranging from Alaska to the desert southwest. The Washington State

1990 tick distribution study showed this tick present in the semi-arid area of Pullman

in eastern Washington.


Tick distribution in Washington State – 1990 study

Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in Ixodes pacificus

Note; Examines genetic variation in tick populations of western states.
Map of areas studied -

Mapping the national distribution of blacklegged ticks in 1998

Where tick-borne diseases are found (from IDEXX a veterinarian testing laboratory)

State provided information

Lyme Disease - a Monograph and Guide for Washington Physicians

Note; Much of this information is obsolete, incomplete, and incorrect.
For example, the statement that the EM rash occurs in 60%-80% of those infected
has been proven wrong. Many symptoms of Lyme disease are not listed, such as
serious cardiac complications. The treatment guidelines are inadequate.

Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Washington

Washington State Department of Health – Notifiable Conditions

Tickborne Disease in Washington State -
British Columbia Zoonotic Disease Conference - 2010
This presentation has some updated information and maps. However, it is not complete
and the "official" statistics given do not represent reality. The most encouraging piece
of information is the newly awarded grant to collect and test ticks. The focus will be for
Ixodes pacificus ticks and Lyme disease on the west side of the Cascade Range in
Washington. Hopefully, this study will be done in a competent manner using the right
tests at the right laboratories. Otherwise, the results will be inaccurate and misleading.


Is Ixodes (ixodiopsis) angustus a vector of Lyme disease in Washington State?

Vector competence of Ixodes angustus (Acari: Ixodidae) for
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

Babesiosis in Washington State: a new species of Babesia?

Infection with a babesia-like organism in northern California

Pathology of acute fatal babesiosis in hamsters experimentally infected
with the WA-1 strain of Babesia

Tick-borne relapsing fever in the Pacific Northwest: an underdiagnosed illness?

Outbreak of tick-borne relapsing fever in Spokane County, Washington

Tick-borne relapsing fever in the northwestern United States and
southwestern Canada

Acute respiratory distress syndrome in persons with tickborne relapsing fever--
three states, 2004-2005

Fatal spirochetosis due to a relapsing fever-like Borrelia sp. In a northern
spotted owl

Geographic correlation of schizophrenia to ticks and tick-borne encephalitis

Tick paralysis: 33 human cases in Washington State, 1946-1996

Tick paralysis--Washington, 1995. From the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention

A newly identified intraerythrocytic Babesia-like organism, WA1, and its relatives were recently shown to be infectious for humans in the western United States (1989)

News articles

There are a number of news articles on Lyme disease in Washington State both
west and east of the Cascades. Some are only available on a pay-per-view basis.


Stored at:

First Lyme disease case reported in Kittitas County, July 28, 1989

Lyme disease suspected on the Palouse, March 9, 1990

Support groups

Washington Online Lyme Support
is source for information and support for people with Lyme and
other tick-borne diseases living in Washington.

Seattle Lyme Support Group
Meets second Saturday of every month, from 2:30pm-4:30pm at the
Shoreline Library
Contact: Joy Scheibner
Bainbridge Island Lyme Disease Support Group:
Meets 1st Saturday of the month, 1:00-3:00 pm.
Call Cory:  206-201-3313 for directions, information.

Pierce/Kitsap Lyme Support Group:
meets at Key Center Library in Lakebay, WA,
the 3rd Saturday of every month, from 1-3pm. 
Email: Willo at for more info.

Portland Support Group email Portland Lyme Disease Support
(Serves SW Washington as well)
Dave Johnson 503-625-7033

Geographic Distribution of Ticks in the United States - CDC Maps 2012
In Copyright since 2000