Lyme disease increasing in Maine

Posted July 12, 2009, at 10:42 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — State health officials report back-to-back increases in confirmed or probable cases of Lyme disease in 2007 and 2008.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there were more than 900 cases of the tick-borne illness in humans last year, an increase of 72 percent. CDC also told Maine Public Broadcasting that in 2007, there was a 57 increase.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected deer tick, also known as black-legged tick. Biting ticks are particularly prevalent this time of year as they search wooded areas for a host to bite.

While the disease often causes symptoms such as joint pain and fatigue, it’s much more serious for some people who become infected. It is often difficult to detect.