Below is information from a recent Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) Advisory:
Lyme disease is the most common vectorborne disease in Maine. Ticks are out and we expect the number of Lyme disease cases to increase.
The purpose of this advisory is to:
- Provide general information regarding ticks and Lyme disease
- Remind providers to report cases of Lyme disease, including those diagnosed by erythema migrans
- Provide resources on diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease
- Remind providers that Anaplasma, Babesia and other tick borne disease are also increasing in Maine
Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that is carried by Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick), which is the same tick that also carries Lyme disease. Anaplasmosis is an emerging infection in Maine, and as of August 8, 2012, 38 cases have been reported to Maine CDC from 8 counties (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Somerset and York). During 2011, a total of 26 cases were reported. Most infections occur during the summer and fall months, so the number of cases is expected to rise.
Symptoms of anaplasmosis include: fever, headache, malaise, body aches, cough, arthralgia, stiff neck and confusion. During the first week of clinical disease mild anemia, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia and modest elevations in hepatic transaminases are common. Anaplasmosis is treatable, and the majority of patients recover after receiving appropriate therapy.
What to do after a tick bite:
- Remove the tick properly, ideally using tweezers or a tick spoon.
- Identify the tick and the engorgement level, or length in time of attachment. Tick identification is available through the Maine Medical Center Research Institute.
- Clean the area around the bite, and instruct the patient to watch for signs and symptoms for 30 days.
- Testing of the tick is not routinely recommended.
If you’re concerned about ticks on your property in Maine, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire or want to learn more about tick control options, contact Modern Pest Services today at 1-800-323-7378.