Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the blacklegged ticks, commonly known as "deer ticks." The bacteria is one of 16 tick-borne pathogens the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking in the U.S.; six appear in New York. From 2013 to 2016, one-quarter of Americans infected with Lyme Disease were New Yorkers.
Lyme, like many other tick-borne diseases, can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and/or heart. It is treatable and curable in most instances. Many tick-borne diseases are regionally isolated, as are the ticks that carry them. However, as the climate changes, the geographic range of ticks, and the reach of the diseases they carry, expands. This has attracted researchers to New York State.