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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 21, 2018 03:51 PM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Lyme Disease Awareness Month May 2018
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution designating May 2018 as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases such as Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and others, pose a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, with the frequency of diagnosed and reported Lyme disease cases increasing dramatically over the past several years.

In the last six years, Pennsylvania 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. This reflects another increase from the 10,817 new cases reported in 2015. Further, a 2015 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection study was published confirming a high risk of Lyme disease in every county of the Commonwealth verifying that every Pennsylvanian, from Philadelphia to Erie, must take precautions to prevent the spread of Lyme disease.

Individuals should be aware of early, disseminated, and late/persistent symptoms and that a negative Lyme test cannot rule out Lyme disease. The early clinical diagnosis and appropriate treatment of these tick-borne disorders and diseases can greatly reduce the risks of continued, diverse and chronic symptoms which can affect every system and organ of the human body and often every aspect of their lives.

Please consider co-sponsoring this resolution designating May 2018 as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania in a continued effort to benefit the overall health and quality of life of the residents of this Commonwealth by increasing awareness of the threat of tick bites and the potential seriousness of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Introduced as HR941