|January 22, 2018
Lyme Disease Continues to Rise in Maine
In 2017 Maine saw 1787 positive tests for Lyme disease, a figure which represents a 22% increase over 2016. Except for slight dips in 2010 and 2015, the number of cases has risen steadily every year since 2003, when 175 cases were found. Experts say that the actual number of cases is probably significantly higher, since many cases are not noticed by the patient or reported.
Researchers hope that the very cold temperatures Maine experienced in late December and early January may help to reduce the number of deer ticks which act as the vector for the disease. More will be known after they have done their testing for 2018.
While in early years only a Lyme test was done, nowadays when a blood sample is sent to a lab a “tick panel” is requested, testing for Lyme, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and perhaps other tick-borne diseases as well. Researchers are finding that ticks are likely to carry both anaplasmosis and Lyme, especially in southern areas.
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