Experts say ticks, tick-borne illnesses on the rise

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Medical experts and conservationists are warning people in Maine about the growing number of ticks and tick-born illnesses here in the state.

They held a press conference Tuesday to publicize a new report by the National Wildlife Federation that illustrates climate change and its effect on outdoor pests. A clinical research associate from Maine Medical Center's Vector-borne Disease laboratory says their studies found that tick abundance is associated with warmer weather.

The National Wildlife Federation says the larger tick population is harming Maine's moose population. Maine CDC Director Dr. Shelia Pinette says there has been an increase in the diagnosis of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

"We encourage providers to make sure that they knew that that's part of the testing panel that should be done, and so I think pretty much statewide we are seeing that done more frequently and therefore we are getting more diagnoses" Pinette said.

To prevent tick-borne illnesses, experts say you should wear insect repellent with Deet, as well as light, long-sleeve shirts and long pants. They say you should check for ticks after any outdoor activity.


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