AUGUSTA — Maine health officials say Lyme disease cases have increased over the last five years in Maine and occur in all 16 counties.

The bacterial infection, which is carried by the deer tick, is preventable. The four best ways to prevent infection are to wear protective clothing, use insect repellent, perform daily tick checks and use caution in tick habitats.

The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an expanding red rash at the site of the tick bite within 3-32 days after being bitten. Fever, joint and muscle pains may also occur. Lyme disease is treatable.

State Epidemiologist Stephen Sears says Lyme moved in to Maine in 1987 and has been increasing ever since. It’s the second most commonly reported disease in Maine.