Lyme Disease Awareness Month is a public service campaign supported by the Lyme Disease Foundation to educate the public about prevention and treatment of Lyme disease, which is a growing problem in parts of the country, including Maine. The incidence of Lyme disease in Maine has been steadily increasing over the past several years, with more and more cases being diagnosed every year.
As most Mainers may know, it is the deer tick that that is responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in the Northeast. Deer ticks thrive in heavily wooded areas, even in areas with long and harsh winters.
It is worth repeating the advice about how to prevent deer tick bites. Recommendations include:
- Wear white or light clothing if you walk in wooded (or even grassy) areas, as it will be easier to spot the tiny, dark-colored ticks
- Shirts should be tucked into your pants, and socks should be pulled up over the bottom of your pants
- Insect repellent may be helpful, although repellent alone is not enough to protect you from tick bites
- Pets should be checked for ticks frequently
If you are bitten by a tick, removing the tick from your body may reduce the risk of disease from the bite.
More information about Lyme disease prevention and treatment is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at www.cdc.gov./lyme<http://www.