Lyme Disease Risk Falls

Researchers at the University of Tennessee are downplaying the danger of Lyme disease in the state.

Ecological scientists at the UT Institute of Agriculture say blacklegged ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, are rare in Tennessee and almost never carry the Lyme disease bacterium.

They also said that people in the Southeast who do get diagnosed with Lyme disease may have a misdiagnosis or may have visited a northern state where ticks are more prevalent carrying the Lyme bacterium.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, they said in a news release, is a problem because it can be fatal quickly.

The challenge for doctors is that different tick-transmitted diseases often begin with similar symptoms: fevers, headaches and muscle pains.