This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, a carrier of Lyme disease. Preliminary indicators show Lyme disease abating during the summer of 2018 in New England. Credit: James Gathany | AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Hot, dry weather over the summer appears to have contributed to a drop in cases of Lyme disease in Maine.

The state’s on track to have the fewest number of Lyme disease in at least three years. There were 1,069 cases through Nov. 12. Last year saw a record-breaking 1,852 cases for the entire year.

[Subscribe to our free morning newsletter and get the latest headlines in your inbox]

Lyme disease is spread by ticks, and most cases are reported from April to October. The Portland Press Herald reports a string of three straight dry summers may have stressed tick populations, according to experts who study the arachnids.

Chuck Lubelczyk, a field biologist for Maine Medical Center Research Institute, says researchers are finding “much lower” numbers of ticks in field surveys.

Lyme can cause flu-like conditions, neurological problems, joint pain and other symptoms.