disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.
How is Lyme disease spread?
disease is spread by the bite of an infected deer tick.
Who gets Lyme disease?
People of all ages can get Lyme disease, but the
following are the people at the highest risk:
·People who are commonly outdoors in areas where
ticks are found (e.g. wooded areas, thick grass, overgrown bushes, and brush or
·Children under the age of 15 years old
·Adults over the age of 50 years old
·People who have other illnesses that make it hard
for them to fight off infections
What are some of the signs of Lyme disease?
It is important to recognize the early signs and
symptoms of Lyme disease because it is easiest to treat when diagnosed in the
early stages. Some of the early signs
of Lyme disease include:
·A ring-like rash around the area of the tick
bite. The rash could resemble a bull's
eye with a clearing center and a distinct ring around it. Not everyone with Lyme disease gets a rash
and not all rashes have a central clearing.
·Flu-like symptoms (e.g. fatigue, headache, fever
and chills, muscle or joint soreness).
If a person is not treated early, they may develop signs
and symptoms of Lyme disease weeks, months or years after the tick bite. Late signs and symptoms of Lyme disease
·Arthritis usually in one or more large joints,
especially the knees
·Neurological problems including numbness, pain,
facial paralysis, and meningitis (fever, stiff neck and severe headaches)
·Memory and concentration problems
How soon do signs of Lyme disease appear?
of Lyme disease usually occur within the first month after the tick bite. Later
symptoms may not appear for weeks, months, or years after a tick bite.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
of Lyme disease is based on signs and symptoms, presence of ring-like rash, and
history of exposure to deer ticks. A
blood test may also be helpful to confirm diagnosis.
What is the treatment for Lyme disease?
disease is treated with antibiotics. It
is easiest to treat in the early stages of illness. If Lyme disease is found in later stages
intravenous antibiotics may be given to the patient.
Is there a vaccine for Lyme disease?
currently there is no vaccine for Lyme disease.
If I’ve had Lyme disease in the past, can I
get it again?
can get Lyme disease again if you do not take proper steps to protect yourself
from tick bites.
Can I get Lyme disease from another person?
disease is not passed from person to person.
How can I protect my family and myself from
getting Lyme disease?
The best way to prevent Lyme disease and other
tick-borne illnesses is to avoid contact with ticks. If you are working, playing, or relaxing in
areas that may have ticks you should do the following:
·Wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Light colored clothing makes it easier to
·Tuck your pants into your socks and tuck your shirt
into your pants.
·Check your clothing and skin carefully after being
outdoors and remove ticks immediately.
·If bitten by a tick, wash area of bite thoroughly
with soap and water and apply an antiseptic to area of the bite.
·Mark on a calendar the date that you were bitten, and
then watch for signs of Lyme disease or any changes in your health every day
for the next month.
·Keep your lawn mown, cut overgrown brush, and clear
away leaf litter from your home.
·Inspect any pets daily and remove any ticks found.
How should I properly remove a tick?
tweezers, grab the tick at its mouth and using firm steady pressure pull the
tick out. Using a tick spoon: line the
notch up with the base of the tick and gently scoop. Avoid crushing the tick’s
body because its bodily fluids may be harmful. Also, do not use petroleum jelly, hot matches,
nail polish remover or any other substance to remove the tick. Using those
items could increase the risk of infection.
Should I take antibiotics to prevent Lyme
disease after being bitten by a tick?
antibiotics after a known tick bite is not routinely recommended, but may be
considered under very specific circumstances (e.g. tick has been identified as
a deer tick, was attached for more than 24 hrs. antibiotics can be started
within 72 hrs., and there is a high rate of infected ticks in the local
How long does a tick need to be attached to a
person for that person to get Lyme disease?
general, ticks need to be attached for 24 to 48 hours before they can give you
Lyme disease. However, just to be safe you should check your health closely for
one month after a tick bite and call your doctor if you have any of the early
signs of Lyme disease.
I’m pregnant and was recently infected with
Lyme disease. How might this affect my pregnancy?
women should stay away from all ticks and areas where ticks are most likely to be
found. Lyme disease can cause serious complications in pregnancy. Though it is rare, Lyme disease can be passed
to an unborn child through the mother.
What can I do to protect my pets from getting
disease vaccine is currently available for dogs. Contact your veterinarian for more
information on vaccines and tick control products for pets.
Where is Lyme disease found in Maine?
Lyme disease is found everywhere in the State of
Maine. However, people should be especially careful when in the following
·Wooded or forested areas
·Wild, unmaintained landscapes with high grass
·Brush or leaf piles
What time of the year should I be most
concerned about Lyme disease?
people get Lyme disease between the months of May and August, but ticks can be
out anytime the temperature is above freezing.
How many people living in Maine die each year
from Lyme disease?
have been no known deaths from Lyme disease in Maine.
I was recently bitten by a tick and want to
have it identified. Where should I send
have a tick identified by sending it to the University of Maine Cooperative
Extension Tick ID Lab. For specific instructions on how to submit a tick please
visit UMaine Cooperative Extension’s website:
Can I have a tick tested for Lyme disease?
labs in Maine CANNOT test ticks for Lyme disease. Testing a tick that bit you
is not going to tell you whether you have Lyme disease. Individuals who still
wish to have a tick tested may do so at their own expense at a private
Where can I get more information?
information contact your healthcare provider or local health center.You can also contact Maine Center for Disease
Control and Prevention by calling 1-800-821-5821 or visiting the website http://maine.gov/idepi.The federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention website - http://www.cdc.gov – is
another excellent source of health information.