AUGUSTA— The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC)urges residents and visitors to take precautions against disease-carrying deer ticks this fall. Maine experiences a second peak in adult deer tick activity in late September through November. Deer ticks are commonly found in wooded, leafy, and shrubby areas. This may include areas around the yard.
Deer ticks can carry the germs that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. These germs spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. As of October 12, 2021, Maine CDC recorded 1,054 cases of Lyme disease, 559 cases of anaplasmosis, 163 cases of babesiosis, and 3 cases of Powassan encephalitis this year. This is a record high for babesiosis cases.
The most commonly reported symptom of Lyme disease in Maine is a “bull’s-eye” rash. Other common symptoms of tickborne disease include body aches, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. If you experience any of these symptoms, Maine CDC recommends that you mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat to a healthcare provider.
Take steps to limit exposure to ticks this fall. The following four strategies help prevent exposure to ticks and tick borne diseases:
- Know when you are in tick habitat and use caution.
- 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.
For more information:
- Visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne for information and resources about tickborne diseases.
- Visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/tickfaq for frequently asked questions about ticks.
- Visit ticks.umaine.edufor more information about tick identification and testing through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab.
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