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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 2, 2018 09:28 AM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Tick Bites in Schools
In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016, Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases, and about 40% of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.

I continue to be a strong advocate for individuals and families who are affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and I believe more needs to be done.

In October 2017, I was given the opportunity to attend a Senate Committee hearing on Lyme disease. One of the recommendations that was brought forward was to increase education and prevention in the school setting. With children representing the highest risk group, schools are an accessible channel to quickly reduce exposures and catch disease early.

To further address this, I will be introducing legislation in the near future to require school officials to notify a parent or guardian when a tick is removed from their child during the school day. After removing a tick, a school nurse would be required to store and label the tick with the date and child name, and hold for seven days for parental contact with a recommendation that the tick be tested.

With Lyme disease posing a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, it is vital that we do all we can to make the detection of Lyme disease easier and faster for people. Early detection of Lyme disease is critical to a good recovery.

This legislation is part of a package of bills I am sponsoring aimed at combating Lyme disease. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2288