Cases of Another Tick-borne Illness on a Sharp Rise in Maine
As if there wasn't enough to worry about already. According to the Sun-Journal, another tick-borne illness anaplasmosis has seen a sharp rise in cases over the past 5 years, putting it firmly on the radar as something Maine residents need to be aware of. Making matters worse, anaplasmosis can be even more debilitating than Lyme disease.
Anaplasmosis has many of the same symptoms of Lyme disease, including fever, chills, extreme fatigue and joint pain. The Maine CDC reports a drastic jump in reported cases of anaplasmosis over the past few years. There were only 52 reported cases in 2012 but through October of this year, thee's already been 433 reported cases. 113 of those cases were so severe, it led to hospitalization.
Deer ticks are the host for the illness. More than 50% of the deer ticks in Maine carry Lyme disease, while only about 10% carry anaplasmosis. The worry for scientists and medical professionals is that just a few years ago, 5% or less of deer ticks carried the illness.
You're advised to always wear long sleeves and repellent and do consistent checks when in tick habitats. Anaplasmosis has no visible outward symptoms, like the "bulls-eye" that Lyme can often show. If you find a tick on you, remove it, and contact a doctor immediately.