AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine officials say there was a record number of Lyme disease cases in the state last year, and the number could rise as data continues to trickle in.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that there were at least 2,079 cases in 2019.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, says it's too early to say why the numbers grew.

But he says the numbers underscore the importance of taking precautions to avoid tick bites.

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