For years, doctors have said that people were unlikely to get Lyme disease in North Carolina. But that attitude is changing after the tick-borne disease was diagnosed this year in at least four patients who never left their home counties.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the state epidemiologist, Dr. Megan Davies, is getting word to doctors, who have been reluctant to even test patients for Lyme disease. Davies says she and others are meeting with infectious disease doctors at state medical schools to spread the word.
Lyme bacteria is carried on the black-legged tick, which appeared to feed on reptiles rather than mammals in Southern states. So it was considered unlikely that ticks would transmit the Lyme bacteria to humans in North Carolina.