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Maine Data: After Spike, Lyme Disease Cases up Over 2015

Macroscopic Solutions
Flickr/Creative Commons

After a seeming respite from Lyme disease earlier this year, the number of cases in Maine has surged.

There have been more than 1,300 cases of Lyme disease reported in the state so far, compared with 1,200 this time last year. Dr. Siiri Bennett, an epidemiologist at the Maine Centers for Disease Control, says outbreaks of the sometimes debilitating disease in Maine follow closely the geography of deer tick prevalence.

She says people need to be alert to tick bites even in the cold months.

“Ticks are very hardy and they tend to hide under leaf litter, woodpiles, those sorts of things. So if they are disturbed, you can still get bitten by a tick. So we tell people to be cautious, to be aware,” Bennett says.

She says the numbers aren’t final, but this year is on track to equal 2014, when more than 1,400 cases of tick-borne Lyme disease were documented.