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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 11:19 AM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Tick Bites in School
In the last seven yrs., 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 re-introducing legislation in the near future to require school officials to notify a parent or guardian when a tick is found on their child during the school day. If a school nurse is available, the tick would be removed by the nurse. The nurse would then store and label the tick with the date removed, child name, and store for seven days awaiting parental contact with a recommendation and information on how the tick can 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 these diseases easier and faster for people. Early detection as with any disease is critical to a good recovery.

This legislation is part of a package of bills I am sponsoring aimed at combating Lyme Disease and tick-borne illnesses. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important, common sense legislation.

Introduced as HB94