NACCHO Book Club — Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change

By Kamya Raja, MSPH, Preparedness Program Analyst, NACCHO

Each month, NACCHO will bring you a new public health book, read and reviewed by NACCHO staff. We hope to provide a well-rounded reading list that you will find enjoyable as well as informative.

“A plague is rising.
In dozens of countries.
In your backyard.
We have underestimated the danger.
Of ticks.”
-Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Our December book recommendation, Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change, by Mary Beth Pfeiffer, was published in 2018 and follows Pfeiffer as she uncovers the silent, mounting impact that ticks and Lyme disease are having around the world.

Pfeiffer boldly labels Lyme disease as “the first disease of climate change” and the evidence is compelling. What struck me most was the nature of the disease—generic symptoms of headaches, muscle and joint pain, rashes—and the difficulty doctors have diagnosing and treating patients. This is especially crucial as ticks adapt to changing climates and move into new habitats where people are unfamiliar with tick bite prevention and Lyme disease overall.

For additional information, research, articles, and more, Pfeiffer has a website for the book at

Want to discuss this book and others? Head over to NACCHO’s Virtual Communities page and connect with peers.