Thursday, August 18, 2016

CDC urges Mainers to take precautions as tickborne diseases surge

CDC urges Mainers to take precautions as tickborne diseases surge
AUGUSTA (WGME) -- The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to take the necessary precautions to avoid tick bites as the warm weather continues and Mainers are enjoying outdoor activities.
The Maine CDC has received a record number of reports of tickborne diseases. And while most people think of Lyme disease when ticks are mentioned, others such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis are on the rise, according to the Maine CDC. All three of these diseases are carried by the deer tick, which is also known as the black-legged tick.
Providers have reported 424 cases of Lyme disease so far this year. In all of 2015, 1,206 Lyme cases were reported.
As of Thursday, providers reported 224 cases of anaplasmosis compared to 186 cases in all of 2015. Maine’s previous high for anaplasmosis was 191 cases in 2014, according to the Maine CDC. Symptoms of anaplasmosis include fever, headache, malaise, and body aches.
Providers also reported 56 cases of babesiosis cases this year, compared to 55 cases reported in 2015. The Maine CDC says symptoms of babesiosis include extreme fatigue, aches, fever, chills, sweating, dark urine, and anemia.
Ticks can be found statewide, but the risk for anaplasmosis and babesiosis is highest in the southern counties and Midcoast region.
The Maine CDC recommends following the “No Ticks 4 ME” approach:
  • Using caution in tick infested areas: stay on paths and avoid brushing against high grass or shrubs
  • Wearing protective clothing: wear long sleeve and pants, or clothing treated with permethrin
  • Using an EPA-approved repellant: apply repellent according to labels, paying particular attention to how often it needs to be reapplied
  • Performing daily tick checks: pay special attention to warm protected areas like the nape of the neck, armpits, groin area, and behind the knees.

Please go to our Prevention Tab which has tips for you're skin, clothes, pets, home, and yard.  The more layers of prevention you put in place the better!