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Is Lyme Disease in KS & MO?

Is Lyme Disease in Kansas and Missouri?

We cannot emphasize enough that tick-borne diseases are a threat throughout the United States and in many other countries.
Are YOU at risk for Tick-born diseases?
  • Tick-borne diseases are present in our community.

  • Tick-borne diseases can be contracted at home, or when traveling for work or pleasure.

  • People can pick up ticks at area parks, camps, golf courses, farms, and even backyards or ticks that hitch a ride into the home on pets

  • An individual can become re-infected if bitten again at a later time by another infected tick

  • More than one disease can be acquired from a single tick bite and co-infections make diagnosis and treatment more difficult

Where are tick-borne diseases found?
  • Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States

  • Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease, but other tick-borne diseases are also on the increase

  • Cases of Lyme disease have been reported in ALL 50 states, including Kansas and Missouri, and 87 countries

  • Cases of Lyme & other tick-borne diseases are reported throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, on both sides of the state line

  • Deer ticks/black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) transmit Lyme disease in KS and MO.

  • The lone star tick (amblyomma Americanum), is a hard-bodied tick found in several states in the Southwest, Southeast, Central South, and Midwest.  A bite can cause a “bull’s eye” shaped rash. However, the rash caused by a lone star tick bite, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), is not related to Lyme disease.

  • American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) can carry the Lyme bacteria, but it is not known whether they transmit the disease.

What are the common hosts for ticks in Kansas and Missouri?
  • Ticks on migrating birds carry tick-borne diseases to new areas

  • Lone star and deer tick nymphs (baby ticks) are very small, about the size of a poppy seed, and are often unnoticed

  • Ticks feed on mammals, birds, and reptiles.

  • Wild animals can be infected with tick-borne diseases without becoming ill, and they then serve as reservoirs to infect other ticks

  • Chipmunks, rabbits, mice, and other small mammals are common reservoir hosts.  Reservoir hosts are animals that can maintain the infection without getting sick and can pass it on to ticks that bite them.

  • Dogs, cats, and farm animals can become ill with tick-borne diseases.

What tick-borne diseases are found in Kansas and Missouri?
  • Lyme Disease

  • Master’s disease (similar to Lyme in rash, other symptoms, and treatment)


  • Babesia (strain MO-1 in Missouri)

  • Bartonella

  • Ehrlichiosis*

  • Anaplasma

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever*

  • Other Rickettsial diseases (Spotted fever group Rickettsia, SFGR)

  • Mycoplasma

  • Tularemia*

  • Q Fever

  • Tick Paralysis

  • Heartland virus

  • Red meat allergy

*Missouri is one of the leading states in reports of Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia

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