Forecasting Lyme Disease in Southern Maine

Project Partner: NASA DEVELOP Boston Node, Summer 2019

Project Summary: Twice in the last decade, Maine has reported the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Lyme disease is treatable when detected, but can have severe health effects when left untreated. However, our current methods of predicting Lyme disease risk operate at the national, regional, or county scale, which is less useful to local cities and towns. Tess worked with NASA DEVELOP’s Boston node to forecast annual Lyme disease cases at the town level using satellite data. Tess and collaborators found that temperature had more predictive power than humidity and that there was high variation between towns. The analysis helped test assumptions about Lyme disease occurrence and informed related monitoring and prevention efforts. 

Adult female deer tick (Credit: Griffin Dill)

Project DeliverablesPresented a poster at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference in 2019, including maps of temperature effects and infection probability vs. detection probability. See below, or download pdf here.

Tess McCabe’s Poster Presentation at AGU 2019