The percentage of ticks that carry Lyme disease can vary depending on the geographic region and the specific species of tick involved. In the United States, the primary carrier of Lyme disease is the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis or Ixodes pacificus), also known as the deer tick.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not all black-legged ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). The infection rates among black-legged ticks can vary greatly depending on the region. In some high-risk areas, studies have found infection rates of black-legged ticks to be around 20-30%. However, in many other regions, the infection rates can be much lower.
It’s worth noting that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is not solely dependent on the infection rate of ticks. The length of time the tick is attached to a person and the promptness and effectiveness of tick removal are also important factors in determining the risk of transmission.
To reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses, it is recommended to take precautions such as wearing protective clothing, using insect repellents, conducting regular tick checks after spending time in tick-prone areas, and promptly removing any attached ticks. If you suspect you have been bitten by a tick or are experiencing symptoms associated with Lyme disease, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.