Factors appear to be aligning for Michigan to have its worst year for Lyme Disease in recent memory.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), only Crawford and Roscommon Counties in the north central part of the Lower Peninsula are at low risk for the spread of Lyme Disease this year. Six counties were considered low-risk last year.

Photo via Michigan.gov
2024 Michigan Lyme Disease Risk Map. Photo via Michigan.gov.

More Michigan counties than ever are now considered "at risk", according to state officials. The Upper Peninsula is a hotbed for Lyme Disease, mainly because heavily wooded areas can be the perfect breeding ground for ticks. Counties along the shore of Lake Michigan tend to be bad for Lyme Disease, and there's activity detected across a large swath of southern Michigan as well.

What Kinds of Ticks Spread Lyme Disease in Michigan?

Blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks) are among the largest culprits for the spread of Lyme Disease in Michigan.

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Here's how it typically happens. Basically, if the tick sucks blood from an animal or person that's already infected with Lyme Disease and then attaches itself to another uninfected animal or person, Lyme Disease can be easily spread. And it's not a "one-and-done" thing either. An infected tick can continue to spread the disease as long as it's alive, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

RELATED: You're More Likely to Get Lyme Disease in These Michigan Counties

Other kinds of ticks including the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the woodchuck tick are also known to spread disease in Michigan.

Warmer Winters and Ticks

Despite a well-earned reputation for brutally cold winters, Michigan really didn't experience one this year.

Photo via Canva
Photo via Canva

In fact, experts say the warmer-than-usual temperatures could contribute to a proliferation of ticks in the Mitten State this year - including the ones that spread Lyme Disease.

So where are the worst places for Lyme Disease in Michigan? We rank all 83 counties below.

Lyme Disease by County in Michigan

Some of Michigan's most rural counties have had the highest number of confirmed cases of Lyme Disease since 2000. Here are all 83 Michigan counties ranked by total number of confirmed cases of Lyme Disease between 2000 and 2020, as reported by tickcheck.com.

Gallery Credit: jrwitl

The 5 Most Common Ticks You'll See in Michigan & Diseases They Carry

Tick season is here once again. Here are the most common ticks in Michigan you should be on the lookout for.

Gallery Credit: Youtube, Michigan.gov

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