ORONO, Maine — Senator Susan Collins is expected to speak at an official Senate field hearing at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory Tick Lab in Orono.

This field hearing at UMaine will explore the growing public health crisis of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

According the Sen. Collins press release, last year, an estimated 450,000 Americans were diagnosed with Lyme disease a staggering 1,400% increase since 2003.  

In the last year in Maine alone, there were approximately 1,400 new cases of Lyme disease, a sharp increase from the 752 cases in 2010.  

Other tick-borne diseases are also on the rise in Maine.  Maine has the highest rate of Lyme disease in the country, with per capita diagnoses 10 times higher than the national average.  

Tick-borne diseases mostly affect people over age 65, who are afflicted at higher rates than any other age group.

Immediately before the hearing, Senator Collins will tour the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory Tick Lab, which provides tick diagnostics, offers public outreach, and conducts applied research on ticks in Maine.  

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