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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). Symptoms of Lyme disease include the formation of a characteristic expanding rash (erythema migrans) at the site of a tick bite 3-30 days after exposure. This rash occurs in 80% of patients. Fever, headache, joint and muscle pains, and fatigue are also common during the first several weeks. Later features of Lyme disease can include arthritis in one or more joints (often the knee), Bell’s palsy and other cranial nerve palsies, meningitis, and carditis (AV block). Lyme disease is rarely, if ever, fatal.
Lyme disease gets its name from a small coastal town in Connecticut called Lyme. In 1975, a woman brought to the attention of Yale researchers an unusual cluster of more than 51 cases of mostly pediatric arthritis. In 1977, Dr. Allen Steere and Yale colleagues identified and named the 51 clusters “Lyme arthritis." In 1979, the name was changed to "Lyme disease," when Steere and colleague Dr. Steven Malawista discovered additional symptoms linked to the disease such as possible neurological problems and severe fatigue. In 1982 the cause of the disease was discovered by Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. Dr. Burgdorfer published a paper on the infectious agent of Lyme disease and earned the right to have his name placed on the Lyme disease spirochete now known as Borrelia burgdorferi.
- Lyme Fact Sheet (Word* | also in PDF*)
- Tick Identification
- Distribution of Deer Ticks in Maine 2008 (PDF*)
- Prevention of Tick-Borne Diseases
- Lyme Disease Q&A
- Lyme Disease Awareness and Prevention Movie
Educational materials have been provided for a pilot tick education program for school nurses and 5th grade teachers. The program is called "Ticks: Know Your Enemy". Materials were assembled by the Maine Vector-borne Disease Working Group, Youth Education Subcommittee. These materials are also available to the general public.
- Case Report Form (Word* | also in PDF*)
- Lyme Laboratory Criteria (PDF*)
- Treatment Guidelines for Health Care Providers
- Post-exposure Prophylaxis information
- 2010 Tick Submission Form (PDF*)
- Tick Identification
- Lyme Disease Surveillance Report (pdf*) 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012
- Lyme Legislative Report (pdf*) 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013