Vital Signs: Maine records spike in tick-borne diseases

Many Mainers know about Lyme disease. But the deer tick that spreads the increasingly prevalent infection can also harbor several other diseases in its tiny eight-legged body.

Maine has confirmed 103 cases of the bacterial infection anaplasmosis this year, already exceeding the 94 cases recorded in all of 2013. Anaplasmosis can lead to similar long-term effects as Lyme disease without a proper diagnosis, including neurological and joint problems and kidney failure. Maine has also recorded 20 cases of babesiosis, a parasitic infection carried by ticks.

“It just always stuns me, walking around here, the utter disregard for ticks,” said Dick Atlee of Southwest Harbor, who contracted anaplasmosis in 2009. “People just walking around with shorts and halter tops. You wonder what are they thinking.”

Maine records spike in diseases carried by ticks, not just Lyme
How to prevent a tick bite

Other top health stories this week:

1,200 Maine consumers could lose Obamacare coverage for failure to prove legal residency

The Maine consumers were among 310,000 nationally identified with “inconsistencies” in their applications.

$20 million question: What’s really at stake if Riverview can’t meet standards?

Much of the talk about the recertification of Riverview Psychiatric Center focuses on the $20 million in annual federal funding that hinges on it, but advocates for mentally ill Mainers and the Department of Health and Human Services say far more is at stake than just money.

From our bloggers

Diane Atwood, Catching Health

Sex After Menopause

You finally made it through menopause. The problem is along with no more periods you also seem to have no more desire for sex. Take heart. You’re not alone.

Jim LaPierre, Recovery Rocks

How to Medically Improve Addiction Treatment

No responsible healer would ever assume that a chronic cardiac condition, diabetes or even asthma is in check. In the case of alcohol and drug addiction however, this practice is conspicuously absent.

From the source

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraiser for ALS. A couple of BDN staffers joined in the frigid fun. So did U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (though sans the, uh, ice). But has the challenge actually raised any money for ALS research? Find out in this BDN editorial.

Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell



Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.