|May 1, 2017
May is Lyme Disease Month
Be Tick Smart
Lyme disease remains the most common tick-borne disease in Maine, with 1,473 cases reported in 2016 (preliminary as of 3/1/17). While ticks can be active at any temperature above freezing, they are most active in warmer months. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine, and we ask you to please help us stress the importance of tick education. Specifically, we ask you to encourage patients to “be tick smart” when spending time outdoors. This includes daily tick checks, wearing protective clothing, using EPA approved repellents, and using caution in areas where ticks may be.
Important Things to Remember
· Lyme disease is preventable by avoiding contact with infected ticks and tick infested areas.
· Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). The tick must be attached to an individual for 24-48 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted.
· The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans (EM), a “bull’s eye” rash that appears 3-30 days after transmission (seen in about 60 to 80 percent of cases nationwide). Other early symptoms include: fatigue, fever, headaches, arthralgia, and myalgia.
· Disseminated symptoms include: arthritis including joint swelling, Bell’s palsy and other cranial neuritis, encephalitis, lymphocytic meningitis, radiculoneuropathy, and second- or third-degree atrioventricular block.
· Antibiotic therapy is effective for the treatment of Lyme disease. Clinical treatment guidelines are available at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)’s website.
Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by Ixodes scapularis. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan are three other tickborne infections found in Maine. The number of cases of anaplasmosis rose to 372 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) and the number of babesiosis cases rose to 82 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) in 2016. The majority of tickborne illnesses occur during the summer months when ticks and humans are active outdoors. If you see a patient with “summer flu,” especially if their WBC is low - think anaplasmosis and send samples for PCR testing.
Thank you for your invaluable help in preventing tickborne diseases here in Maine.
· IDSA treatment guidelines available at http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/43/9/1089.full
· Lyme disease case report form available on the web at http://www.maine.gov/lyme under Resources for Physicians
· University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab submission instructions found at http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/
· To continue getting updates throughout May please like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MaineCDC
· For additional questions, please call Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
· Tickborne videos can be found on our website www.maine.gov/lyme on the left hand side of the page
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