CARERC Pilot: The Evaluation of Case Misclassification of Lyme Disease in Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Cases of Lyme disease are thought to be underreported due to lack of proper laboratory criteria as we ll as lack of keyclinical information that is needed to meet standard case definitions for this reportable disease. Without the necessary laboratory orders or clinical information to meet standard case definitions, cases w ill often not meet criteria to be designated as confirmed cases and are not included in national and statewide case counts. For this reason, casecounts publicly available and used for national reports and data analysis may not depict the true burden of disease occurring in the state of Kentucky. Previous studies have provided evidence of case misclassification due to provider underreporting and lack of clinical information in states considered both high endemic areas 1 .2 and low endemic areas3. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the factors that may be contributing to case misclassification in Kentucky and to what degree these factors are occurring. Kentucky is a state that provides an enriched habitat for tick establishment,particularly in regions w i th abundant w il d vegetation. Th i s environment canpotentially contribute to higher occupational risks for individuals employed in jobs that i nvo l ve continuous exposure to tick-infested areas, such as forestry, farming, or other agricultural industries. However, to date, no studies have assessed the increased risk of Lyme disease in Kentucky. The proposed study aims to fill that research gap. Healthcare providers and public health experts should continually work together to ensure that clinicians are not only educated about the importance of providing the necessary clinical information and laboratory orders needed to meet current case definitions but also that public health officials are knowledgeable about the current clinical practices for tick-borne illnesses to prevent further disease in both residential and occupational persons. The findings from this study may contribute to a greaterunderstandingof case classification at both the public health and clinical levels and provide insight as to the magnitude ofunderestimation in Kentucky that is seen in national case counts reported for Lyme disease. Advancements in knowledge of standard case definitions may impact future case counts to depict a more robust, accurate representation of Lyme disease in Kentucky.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/24


  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health


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