Mainers Warned Of Tick-Borne Illness That’s Not Lyme
Maine is seeing an increase in a tick-borne illness that's not Lyme Disease and health officials are warning to take precautions.
It's common for people to think that the danger for Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses is over once the weather starts getting chilly. But the truth is, those ticks are hungry and fattening themselves up for the coming winter, and so Maine sees a surge in tick bites every Autumn.
And when a deer tick bites, the first thing we think of is Lyme Disease because it's incredibly common in our state. But another serious illness is caused by the same tick and officials say they're seeing it more and more.
Anaplasmosis has initial symptoms much like Lyme; headache, fever, chills, and muscle aches. The Maine Center for Disease Control says these symptoms usually occur within one to two weeks after a tick bite. The severity of the symptoms, much like Lyme, will be complicated by any compromises in the patient's immune system.
So it's important to be aware, even when you're layering up because of colder temperatures, to take precautions against tick bites. Wear repellent if you're going into the woods or tall grass. Tuck your pants into your boots. And, when you get home, do a complete tick check, removing any you may find. If it's a deer tick, you may want to start watching for symptoms, or go to your doctor for a blood test. If you're not sure what kind of tick it is, you can send it to the University of Maine's Tick Lab and they'll identify it for you, at no charge.