Patient Zero

Over the past several decades, Lyme disease has steadily grown to become one of the most pronounced and most confusing epidemics in American history. Here in New Hampshire, infection rates are among the highest in the country. The outbreak of an increasing number of tick-borne illnesses is directly related to climate change, housing development and wildlife management.

Introducing Patient Zero. In this multi-part series, senior producer Taylor Quimby explores the world of epidemiology through Lyme disease. He’ll track the disease’s long history in human society, examine the complex ecosystem in which Lyme thrives, and try to understand why the disease is so hard to understand and treat.

Throughout, he digs into what the Lyme epidemic tells us about our changing society, history, and environment.

We’re sharing some of the episodes on Outside/In but you should subscribe to the Patient Zero feed or even better, donate $20 and get all the episodes early plus bonus content. Find more at

Patient Zero is produced by many of the same great people who bring you Outside/In. Patient Zero is hosted and reported by Taylor Quimby. Sam Evans-Brown is senior producer.

Off The Mic

  • Erika Janik, Executive Producer

  • Amy Tardif, Fact Checking

  • Sara Plourde, Graphics & Web Production

  • Maureen McMurray, NHPR’s Director of Content

  • Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR’s Digital Director

  • Patient Zero’s editing team includes: Justine Paradis, Annie Ropeik, Jimmy Gutierrez, Nick Capodice, Todd Bookman, Jason Moon, and Hannah McCarthy