PORTLAND (AP) – Maine officials say there’s a bumper crop of ticks, and that’s leading to fears of more Lyme disease this spring.

Dr. Pete Rand from the Vector Borne Disease Laboratory at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute says there’s an ample number of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease.

But it remains to be seen whether that’ll translate to more infections.

In Maine, the number of Lyme cases grew from 71 in 2000 to 529 last year. Officials caution that part of the trend could be greater awareness of the disease, which is marked by a bulls-eye rash.

Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics. Left untreated, though, it can cause chronic problems including arthritis.

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