Lyme a threat in winter

BAR HARBOR — Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are fast becoming a threat even during the colder months of the year, a recent report from Maine health officials states.

In an update sent to public school nurses, municipal health departments and others on Dec. 18, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Sheila Pinette and state epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears said that even though it is wintertime, people need to remain vigilant with regards to ticks and the diseases they carry.

As of Dec. 16, there were 1,285 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in Maine this year, up from 1,111 in 2012. Rates of infection with other tick-borne illnesses have grown by even larger amounts.

There were 91 confirmed and probable cases of Anaplasmosis as of Dec. 16, up from 52 at the same time in 2012. Knox, Cumberland and York counties reported the highest number of cases.

In Maine, deer ticks can remain active in their adult stage through the winter whenever the temperature is above freezing, according to the CDC. Health officials recommend using tick repellents, taking caution in tick-infested areas and practicing daily tick checks.

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Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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