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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 28, 2020 11:28 AM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness Awareness Month

In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution designating May 2020 as “Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness 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 seven years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2017 alone, Pennsylvania reported 11,900 new cases. This is approximately 40% of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania. 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 2020 as “Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness 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 disease.

Introduced as SR324