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LYME DISEASE LEVELING OFF, OFFICIALS BELIEVE

Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that increased dramatically in the United States in the past decade, appears to be leveling off, federal health officials reported.

A preliminary total of 7,997 new cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States in 1990, down from 8,803 cases in 1989, which "suggests a plateau in this trend of rapid annual increase," the federal Centers for Disease Control said Thursday.