Lyme disease cases on the rise in New Jersey

Posted: Updated:

State officials announced efforts Monday to curb the spread of Lyme disease in the state as the number of cases rise.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says that as the summer approaches New Jersey residents should take extra precaution to protect themselves from ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.

“Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting under your clothes,” Elnahal says. “It may look dorky, but it will prevent that tick from biting you."

RELATED: Insect-borne illnesses on the rise in the US, says CDC
RELATED: Exotic and dangerous tick found in 2 New Jersey counties

Officials say that more than 5,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported in the state last year, the highest number in 20 years.

"Nationally, diseases from ticks has doubled between 2004 and 2016 so this has followed an upward trend since then,” the health commissioner says. 

Sen. Bob Menendez says that more federal money is being devoted to battling bug-borne illnesses. But he says that awareness and early detection are also important.

“Undertake preventative efforts to prevent that disease from being transmitted from that tick, by preventing that tick from biting you in first place,” Menendez says.

In addition to tucking pants into socks, health experts also recommend wearing light colors and checking oneself and children as soon as they come in from being out in wooded areas. Insect repellent is also recommended.

More information about ticks and Lyme disease can be found at the state website

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."