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CDC Focus on Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its website to include information regarding  maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease.

Updates from the CDC website:

  • Lyme disease Transmission page under “Are there other ways to get Lyme disease?”: “Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.”
  • Lyme Disease FAQ page under “I am pregnant and think I have Lyme disease, what should I do?”: “If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately. Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.* There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.”
  • Pregnancy and Lyme disease poster: information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Regarding breastfeeding the poster states, “There are no reports of Lyme disease transmission through breast milk.”

LDA President, Pat Smith, said this about the CDC’s recent update, “The maternal-fetal aspect of Lyme disease, mother to baby transmission, has long been known but not well-publicized. The new CDC focus on this Lyme transmission method has been missing in Lyme disease education. A number of advocacy groups, including the LDA, have had information on their websites. LymeHope in Canada has been strongly advocating for wider recognition of this aspect, in particular nurse Sue Faber, who spoke before the HHS TBD Working Group in DC in January 2020. Now it is up to all of us to call attention to this CDC focus to ensure health departments and physicians are aware of the situation and that they take appropriate steps to ensure pregnant women get the necessary care.”

Visit the CDC Lyme disease website.

View the LDA’s Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Lyme Bibliography.