Lyme Disease

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Below are the 2022 “Tick Wise” poster contest winners:

Grade K-1 winner
Samantha Landry
1st grade
Stratton Elementary School
Grade 2-3 winner
Maisy Emery
3rd grade
Spruce Mountain Elementary School
Grade 4-5 winner
Anna Moffett
5th grade
Spruce Mountain Elementary School
Grade 6-8 winner
Alexander Pierpont
7th grade
Oceanside Middle School
Honorable Mention Winner
Addie Knieser
4th grade
Stratton Elementary School

2022 Governor's Proclamation of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month (PDF)


Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which 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, EM) 3-30 days after a tick bite. This rash occurs in approximately 70- 80%1of patients nationally.  In Maine, EM is reported in just over 50% of patients, and Maine CDC feels that this number is lower than the actual occurrence.  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.

  1. The Presenting Manifestations of Lyme Disease and the Outcomes of Treatment. N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2472-2474, June 12, 2003.

History of Lyme Disease

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.

Resources for Maine Residents

Resources for Educators:

Maine CDC developed vectorborne school curricula for 3rd-8th grade classrooms. The curriculum is aligned with Maine Learning Results. School nurses and teachers are encouraged to use this resource in their classrooms.

Resources for Physicians

Tickborne Disease Data

Reports and Publications

Recently Enacted Legislation Regarding Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Illnesses

Public Law, Chapter 561, LD 2157, item 1, 123rd Maine State Legislature (PDF):  An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services Regarding Reporting on Lyme Disease and Other Tick-borne Illnesses

  • Requires an annual Lyme Legislative report - see "Reports and Publications" section above

Resolve, Chapter 143 LD 1521, item 1, 123rd Maine State Legislature (PDF):  Resolve, To Provide Education Concerning and Insurance Coverage for Lyme Disease

Public Law, Chapter 494 LD 1709, item 1, 124th Maine State Legislature: An Act to Enhance Public Awareness of Lyme Disease (

Public Law, Chapter 340, LD 597, 126th Maine State Legislature: An Act to Inform Persons of the Options for the Treatment of Lyme Disease (

  • Acknowledges difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease
  • Information on risks of long term antibiotic therapy

Public Law, Chapter 235, LD 422, 127th Maine State Legislature:  An Act to Improve Access to Treatments for Lyme Disease (

  • Allows licensed physicians to prescribe long-term antibiotic therapy to eliminate infection or to control a patients symptoms

External Links

These external links are provided to offer public awareness and education including information on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme and other tickborne diseases. These links represent the views of their respective authors and are not intended to replace physician knowledge and clinical judgment regarding Lyme disease. These links may not represent the views of Maine CDC or federal CDC.

Other Vector-borne Diseases