If the old phrase “As goes, Maine so does the rest of the nation” is true, then residents of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York can expect a tick-filled spring.
In a story just released by the Maine Sunday Herald, reports of confirmed Lyme disease cases have been pouring into the Maine Center For Disease Control at a rate three times above the average.
The weather was an obvious factor. “I was pulling ticks off (dogs) in January and seeing active cases of Lyme disease in January,” said veterinarian Sandra Mitchell at Animal Medical Associates in Saco, Maine.
Maine state officials point out that in many areas ticks did not hibernate as they traditionally do because of the mild temperatures. This group of ticks will feed voraciously all summer long and people can expect to see increased interaction.
To make matters worse, there is a healthy population of rodents this year. They serve to carry the ticks that have the potential to cause Lyme disease.
In an article that will be premiering in the May issue of Outdoors Magazine titled “The Truth About Ticks,” Glenn Dunning revels that many of the traditional beliefs held in the Northeast about ticks are not true. This is both good and bad news.
According to Dunning, “You’ve probably heard that the big deer ticks are not the ones that carry Lyme disease, it’s the smaller wood ticks to watch out for. WRONG. All ticks can carry Lyme disease bacteria as well as a host of other stuff you don’t want to catch.”
Dunning goes on to point out that while ticks, and consequently Lyme disease, are more common now than they have ever been before in Northern New York and New England, awareness about the illness and treatment methods have also made significant strides. No longer is Lyme disease considered the life-altering illness that it once was.