Maine CDC Releases Near Real-Time Data for Tickborne Diseases

In November, The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) released a near real-time data dashboard for tickborne diseases on the Maine Tracking Network, a web-based portal that allows users to access environmental and health data. This dashboard provides daily updates on the number of cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis, as well as weekly updates on the number of tick-related emergency department visits.

"This marks a real improvement in Maine CDC's ability to distribute timely data on these important diseases through the convenience of an online dashboard," said Maine CDC Director Dr. Bruce Bates. "We hope this easily accessible data will help raise awareness about tickborne diseases in Maine and reinforce the need to practice preventative behaviors."

Disease data available on the dashboard presents a focused look at the current number and rate of each tickborne disease in the state and in each county, and are viewable in maps, tables, and charts. Data updates occur daily as Maine CDC confirms new cases of these diseases. However, for Lyme disease, the true number of cases may lag by several months due to the process Maine CDC uses to classify cases.

The dashboard also includes a trend chart of suspected tick-related emergency department visits, comparing this year's counts to last year's, and showing seasonal peaks to help decision-makers plan prevention efforts.

To prevent tickborne diseases, Maine CDC recommends the following four prevention methods: use an EPA-approved repellent; wear protective clothing; perform daily tick checks, and; use caution in tick-infested areas.

To view the dashboard, visit the Maine Tracking Network or www.maine.gov/lyme and click on the Maine Tracking Network link in the left navigation pane. The Maine Tracking Network also displays annual data on ticks and tickborne diseases, including customizable town-level maps, trends in disease by age group or location, and annual counts and rates from 2001-2017.

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