What is Target Lyme Disease?

Target Lyme DiseaseTarget Lyme Disease is an educational project aimed at teaching Westport and Weston residents about ways to reduce deer ticks and protect themselves against Lyme disease. The project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is the first grant of its kind in the nation. The Westport Weston Health District is leading the Target Lyme Disease community effort.

The Health District has a free CD available that includes many Lyme Disease resources. The CD contents are also online and can be viewed at this link.

Click on the links below  to view Target Lyme Disease educational materials. For copies of the materials, contact WWHD at 227-9571.


How do we Target Lyme Disease?

The Health District has and will continue to partner with national, state and local organizations on an intensive community campaign to reduce the number of Lyme disease cases and other tick-borne illnesses in Westport and Weston. Partners include the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Connecticut Department of Geography, wildlife biologists, local community organizations, area physicians and concerned residents.

Lyme Disease in Westport and Weston

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the US today. Since the disease was first identified in Lyme, Connecticut in the 1970’s, it has spread throughout most of the state, as well as other areas of the country. Connecticut now has the highest case rate of Lyme disease in the nation.

Year Number of Lyme Disease Cases in Westport and Weston
2000 169
2001 127
2002 147
2003 63
2004 43
2005 70
2006 40
2007 60

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of the tiny deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, which lives in the leaf litter and brush founded in and near wooded areas. Ticks become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria when they feed on infected white-footed mice and other small mammals. On average, 20 percent of ticks are infected with the Lyme disease spirochete. Most human cases of Lyme disease are contracted in June, July and August, when the tiny nymphal stage of the tick is most active.

Preventing Lyme Disease

There are two basic strategies to prevent Lyme disease.

  1. Reduce the number of deer ticks, particularly in residential areas.

  2. Practice personal protection measures, such as daily tick checks.

Targeting Lyme disease is a personal/community effort

The success of Target Lyme Disease will depend on the actions of homeowners and concerned residents. If you would like to learn more about the project, contact the Westport Weston Health District at 227-9571.