Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution recently donated to an organization working to raise awareness about tick-borne Lyme disease.

SACO — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported a record-high 2,079 cases of Lyme disease in 2019. Due to this concerning trend, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution (SBSI) recently donated $500 to LymeTV, a Portland-based nonprofit dedicated to educating the community about Lyme and other tick-borne infectious diseases.

Although ticks are most active during the warm months of late spring and summer, commonly known as “tick season,” they can also be active during the winter.

While ticks hibernate when the temperature drops below freezing, they actively look for blood meals when the temperature rises above 32 degrees and the ground is thawed, which has happened several times this January.

“Maine is the state with the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country over the last few years,” said Adina Bercowicz, founder and executive director of LymeTV. “The best way to remedy this is by raising awareness and spreading accurate information about prevention tactics and early symptom detection. We’re so grateful to have Saco & Biddeford Savings as an ally in our mission to do just that.”

LymeTV works to raise awareness by connecting doctor’s offices with research and educational materials, delivering free lectures to colleges and businesses and providing tick education workbooks and classroom posters to schools through its Health Education Program. It is currently filming a new documentary on Lyme disease and is planning to broadcast informative television commercials in 2020.

Additionally, LymeTV strives to inform the public about other tick-borne infections. These include Anaplasma and Babesia, which are transmitted by the same tick that spreads Lyme disease and can result in more severe clinical cases when people have them along with the Lyme bacteria, according to Bercowicz.
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