AUGUSTA — Health officials in Maine are expanding their efforts to track the spread of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease.

The Maine Medical Center Research Institute and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention are urging residents, veterinarians and doctors in northern and western Maine to submit ticks to the research institute in an effort to better map the location of deer ticks and learn more about the spread of Lyme disease.

State epidemiologist Stephen Sears says information is needed from Aroostook, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Somerset, Franklin and Oxford counties.

Lyme disease brings painful and often debilitating symptoms, ranging from headaches to joint pain and fatigue.

Directions on how to submit deer ticks for identification can be found on the institute’s Web site at www.mmcri.org/lyme.