Maine Lyme Disease Awareness Month theme is ‘Stop. Check. Prevent.’

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges the state’s residents and visitors to focus on tick prevention during May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month [1].
This year’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month theme is “Stop. Check. Prevent.” The campaign asks Maine people to stop frequently to check for ticks because personal prevention measures are the best way to keep from getting a tickborne disease.
Deer ticks in Maine can carry the germs that cause diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Borrelia miyamotoi disease. The ticks are most commonly found in wooded, leafy and shrubby areas, putting most Mainers at risk every day. Anyone spending time outdoors should take steps to limit their exposure to ticks.
Health care providers reported at least 1,118 confirmed and probable Lyme disease cases to Maine CDC in 2020 (as of March 17). While this is lower than the record number of cases reported in 2019, tickborne diseases remain a serious threat in Maine.
The most common symptom of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans or “bullseye” rash. Other common symptoms include arthritis, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Some of these symptoms resemble COVID-19 symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat to a health care provider.
Ticks are already active in Maine. The following strategies help prevent exposure to ticks and the diseases they carry:
* Use caution in areas where ticks may be found. * 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.
Maine CDC provides many resources to prevent tickborne disease. For more information on Lyme Disease Awareness Month activities and tickborne diseases, visit Follow Maine CDC on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, for updates throughout the month.