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Hot, dry summers might be cutting into Maine Lyme cases

November 14, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Hot, dry weather over the summer appears to have contributed to a drop in cases of Lyme disease in Maine.

The state’s on track to have the fewest number of Lyme disease in at least three years. There were 1,069 cases through Nov. 12. Last year saw a record-breaking 1,852 cases for the entire year.

Lyme disease is spread by ticks, and most cases are reported from April to October. The Portland Press Herald reports a string of three straight dry summers may have stressed tick populations, according to experts who study the arachnids.

Chuck Lubelczyk, a field biologist for Maine Medical Center Research Institute, says researchers are finding “much lower” numbers of ticks in field surveys.

Lyme can cause flu-like conditions, neurological problems, joint paint and other symptoms.

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