Ticks now a part of life in Maine

3:45 PM, May 27, 2011   |    comments
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ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the Northern Hemisphere.  It has spread into Maine over the last thirty years and apparently is here to stay.

Therefore, it is important to know how to deal with the ticks and protect oneself from the possibility of a debilatating and painful illness.

The first thing you should do if you find a tick on your body is to remove it.  University of Maine Entymologist Kirby Clay says to "grasp the mouth parts with fine forceps as close to the skin as possible and then gently tug, tug, patiently until the tick lets go."

You should then take the tick to your nearest Cooperative Extension Service office for identification.  "It's your tax dollars at work," says Kirby who notes that Maine is one of few states that still identify ticks free.

If the tick is fully engorged, there is still only an 80% chance you have been infected with Lyme Disease.  You should note the date on the calendar and watch closely for symptons.

Within three days to three weeks, one often notices a bullseye like rash near the bite. One might have chills or fever as well as soreness in joints and muscles.

Should these signs be apparent, one should see his or her doctor as antibiotics can eliminate the infection and the symptons.  Early treatment is important!


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