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posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:50 AM by Heather Cormier   [ updated Apr 28, 2015, 7:07 AM ]

MAY IS LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH:

INSPECT AND PROTECT



As the warmer months approach, it’s time to think about Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks, and prevention.  Lyme disease is on the rise in Maine.  According to the CDC, there were more than 1,395 cases reported in 2014 and this number grows every year.


There are two types of ticks commonly found in Maine, the black legged or deer tick and the dog tick. Diseases which may be transmitted include Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis.  Ticks are often found in wooded areas, brush, tall grass or in piles of leaf litter such as leaves, pine needles and twigs.


Symptoms of tick-borne illness tend to be similar and may include:

  • rash in many, but not all, cases, which may vary from a bull’s eye rash to pink, flat spots that do not itch, to ulcers with swollen lymph nodes

  • flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, headache and joint or muscle aches

Immediately report flu-like symptoms in the summer months to your healthcare provider.  If diagnosed early, treatment is relatively simple and generally consists of antibiotics as prescribed by your physician.  However, prevention is the best medicine.


Things you can do to inspect and protect include following the “No Ticks 4 ME” advice:

  1. Use caution in tick infested areas.  Avoid woody areas with tall grass and leaf litter.  Walk in the center of trails, avoiding bushes, branches and tall grass.

  2. Wear protective clothing.  Wear long sleeves, pants and socks, and tuck pants legs into socks.  Light colored clothing to make ticks easier to spot.

  3. Use an EPA approved repellant.

  4. Perform daily checks after any outdoor activity.  Pay careful attention to hard to see areas such as armpits, groin and hair.  It’s also a good idea to inspect pets and any equipment used outside as ticks may hitch a ride into your home.


For more information, visit the following:

  • Lyme disease information and tick identification references available on the Maine CDC website at http://www.maine.gov/lyme

  • Lyme disease data is available through the Maine Tracking Network at http://www.maine.gov/idepi under Epidemiology Information

  • The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab submission instructions and free identification services can be found at http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/

  • To continue getting Lyme updates throughout May please like our Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/MaineCDC


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