Maine CDC Marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month


MAINE, May 9 – Back to current news.

May 9, 2022

Human Services

Be ‘Tick Wise’ to prevent tickborne diseases

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges Maine residents and visitors to be “Tick Wise” during Lyme Disease Awareness Month (PDF) this May.

Preventing tick bites is the best way to avoid a tickborne disease. Deer ticks in Maine can carry germs that cause diseases in people and animals, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, and Powassan virus disease. These ticks are often found in wooded, leafy, and shrubby areas, meaning most Mainers are at risk every day. Anyone spending time outdoors should take steps to limit their exposure to ticks.

Ticks are already active in Maine this season, which begins in early spring and lasts through late fall. Follow these strategies after every outdoor activity to become Tick Wise and prevent tickborne diseases:

  • Know tick habitat and use caution in areas where ticks may live.
  • Use an EPA-approved repellent like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks.
  • Perform tick checks daily and after any outdoor activity.

Health care providers reported more than 1,500 confirmed and probable Lyme disease cases to Maine CDC in 2021,as of March 25, 2022.The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a bulls-eye rash anywhere on the body. Other common symptoms include joint and muscle pain, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Some of these symptoms resemble COVID-19 symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to a health care provider. Make sure to mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat.

Maine CDC provides many resources to help Mainers be Tick Wise, including:

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab offers tick identification and testing to Maine residents. Tick testing is available for $15 with a three-day turnaround time. This is for surveillance purposes only. Contact a health care provider for concerns about tickborne illnesses. Find more information at ticks.umaine.edu.





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