PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 134
PRINTER'S NO. 2099
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY GREENLEAF, ERICKSON, FARNESE, MENSCH, KASUNIC, TARTAGLIONE, GORDNER, BROWNE, WHITE, SMITH, SMUCKER, RAFFERTY, SCARNATI, FERLO, YAW, SOLOBAY, WAUGH, ALLOWAY, COSTA, BOSCOLA, BAKER, McILHINNEY, DINNIMAN, BREWSTER AND BLAKE, JANUARY 17, 2013
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JUNE 4, 2014
1Establishing a task force on Lyme disease and related maladies;
2and providing for powers and duties of the task force, the
3Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and
4Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to
5execute <-surveillance, prevention and education strategies.
8Section 1. Short title.
12Section 2. Findings.
13The General Assembly finds that:
<-3(3) In 2009, 5,722 cases of Lyme disease were reported
4in this Commonwealth, the highest number of cases reported in
5any state, and representing a 76% increase since 2006. In
62011, provisional numbers of 7,484 cases confirm this ongoing
8(4) These trends illustrate the World Health
9Organization's (WHO) projections through 2100. The WHO states
10that Lyme disease will increasingly become a public health
11threat in the United States. Pennsylvania needs to be
12prepared to deal with this trend, which is already being
13observed in Pennsylvania's statistics.
<-14(3) In 2009 and 2011, this Commonwealth ranked highest
15in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme
16disease. From 2002 through 2011, this Commonwealth has
17reported a total 42,032 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease.
21(5) In August 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and
22Prevention (CDC) released a report that preliminary estimates
23indicate approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with
24Lyme disease each year. This is approximately 10 times higher
25than the number of cases previously reported to the CDC every
<-30(6) (7) With proper precautions taken while engaged in
1outdoor activities, people can greatly reduce their chances
2of tick pathogen transmission by making sure that frequent
3tick checks are made and ticks are removed and disposed of
4promptly and properly.
<-5(7) (8) The early clinical diagnosis and appropriate
6treatment of these tick-borne disorders and diseases can
7greatly reduce the risks of continued symptoms which can
8affect every system and organ of the human body and often
9every aspect of life.
12Section 3. Legislative intent.
13It is the intent of the General Assembly:
14(1) To provide the public with information and education
15to create greater public awareness of the dangers of and
16measures available to prevent, diagnose and treat Lyme
17disease and related maladies.
18(2) To ensure that:
21(ii) Licensees provide patients with sufficient
22information about treatment options to enable patients to
23make an informed choice as part of informed consent and
24to respect the autonomy of that choice.
<-27(i) Health care professionals, insurers, patients
28and governmental agencies are educated about the broad
29spectrum of scientific and treatment options regarding
30all stages of Lyme disease and related tick-borne
2(ii) Health care professionals provide patients with
3information about the broad spectrum of scientific and
4treatment options regarding all stages of Lyme disease
5and related tick-borne illnesses to enable patients to
6make an informed choice as part of informed consent and
7to respect the autonomy of that choice.
8(iii) Government agencies in this Commonwealth
9provide information regarding the broad spectrum of
10scientific and treatment options regarding all stages of
11Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses.
12(iv) A system is established for tick surveillance.
13Section 4. Definitions.
17"Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.
21"Lyme disease." The clinical diagnosis of a patient by a
22licensed physician<-, physician's assistant or certified
23registered nurse practitioner of the presence of signs or
24symptoms compatible with acute, late-stage, persistent infection
25with Borrelia burgdorferi or complications related to such
26infection or with such other strains of Borrelia that are
27recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as
28a cause of Lyme disease. The term includes infection that meets
29the surveillance criteria established by the Centers for Disease
30Control and Prevention and other acute and persistent
7"Secretary." The Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth.
10"Task force." The task force established by this act.
11Section 5. Task force.
20(3) Development of a program of general public and
21health care professional information and education regarding
22Lyme disease which shall include the broad spectrum of
23scientific and treatment options regarding all stages of Lyme
24disease and related tick-borne illnesses.
1State parks and lands.
2(6) Cooperation with the Department of Education to:
6(ii) Determine what role schools may play in the
7prevention of Lyme disease, including, but not limited
8to, <-prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to
9State officials. <-integrated pest management strategies,
10prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to parents,
11guardians and State officials.
15(7) <-Cooperation of the Department of Environmental
16Protection to test ticks and provide results and to publish
17infection rates on its publicly accessible Internet website.
<-18An active tick collection, testing, surveillance and
19communication program as provided under subsection (f)(2).
22(1) The secretary or a designee.
23(2) The Secretary of the Commonwealth or a designee.
24(3) The Secretary of Education or a designee.
30(6) Two physicians licensed in this Commonwealth who are
4(7) Two physicians licensed in this Commonwealth who are
5knowledgeable concerning treatment of Lyme disease and
6related tick-borne illness and who are members of the
7Infectious Diseases Society of America.
15(11) Two registered nurses licensed in this
16Commonwealth, one of whom is a certified registered nurse
17practitioner and both of whom are knowledgeable concerning
18Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness.
27(15) Two veterinarians licensed in this Commonwealth, at
28least one of whom is a veterinary epidemiologist and both of
29whom are knowledgeable concerning Lyme disease and related
13(3) The task force shall issue a report with
14recommendations to the secretary within one year of its first
15meeting. The report shall also be transmitted to the Public
16Health and Welfare Committee of the Senate <-and, the Health
17Committee of the House of Representatives <-and the Human
18Services Committee of the House of Representatives.
22(e) Compensation and expenses.--The members of the task
23force shall receive no compensation for their services but shall
24be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in
25performance of their duties. Reimbursement shall be provided by
27(f) Duties of department.--The department shall:
3(2) Develop an active tick collection, testing <-and,
4surveillance and communication program<-, subject to the
5availability of funds, in cooperation with the Department of
6Environmental Protection to provide a better understanding
7of, including, but not limited to, the full range of tick-
8borne diseases, geographic hot spots and levels of
9infectivity to be used in targeting prevention<-, information
10and education efforts. This effort may include the
11exploration of and recommendations regarding the use of
12veterinary data on tick-borne disease prevention,
13specifically dogs and horses and perhaps other animals, as
14the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has
15recommended. <-The surveillance data shall be communicated to
16health care professionals via public health alerts and shall
17be published on the department's publicly accessible Internet
18website. The department may enter into a contract, memorandum
19of understanding or other agreement with another governmental
20or nongovernmental entity to develop an active tick
21collection, testing, surveillance and communication program.
30(5) Cooperate with the Department of Education to:
4(ii) Determine what role schools may play in the
5prevention of Lyme disease, including, but not limited
6to, <-prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to
7State officials. <-integrated pest management strategies
8and prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to
9parents, guardians and State officials.
<-16(7) Cooperate with the Department of Environmental
17Protection to publish and make available on its publicly
18accessible Internet website the information developed under
19paragraph (2) to health care professionals and the general
21(8) <-(7) Cooperate with the Pennsylvania State
22University, Department of Entomology, cooperative extension
23program for integrated pest management, to disseminate
24educational resources about ticks, related diseases and
25integrated pest management for disease prevention as required
26under paragraph (1) to health care professionals and the
<-30(9) Within 45 days of the effective date of this
1section, make available current data on tick surveillance
2programs in this Commonwealth conducted by other entities,
3including the Northeast DNA Laboratory of East Stroudsburg
4University and the Department of Entomology of The
5Pennsylvania State University, until such time as the
6department publishes the results of the active tick
7collection, testing, surveillance and communication program
8as provided for in paragraph (2). The data shall be
9communicated via public health alerts to health care
10professionals and made available on the department's publicly
11accessible Internet website.
12Section 6. Effective date.
13This act shall take effect immediately.