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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 15, 2021 09:39 AM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Designating May 2021 as "Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness Awareness Month" in PA
I plan to introduce a Resolution designating May 2021 as “Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.  This is a chance for Lyme patients, activists and educators to spread information on how to prevent Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases. In 2018, 10,208 Lyme disease cases were reported in Pennsylvania, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate under-reporting by a factor of 10, projecting occurrence rates, more accurately, in the 100,000s.  From 2000 to 2018, there have been 106,718 confirmed Lyme disease cases in Pennsylvania, but again, due to the fact that the CDC’s data only represents confirmed cases, the actual quantity of Lyme disease cases may be far greater, possibly over 1,000,000.  Cases have been found in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, linked largely to the high population of deer and mice in our forests and fields.
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.  Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.  Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic rash called erythema migrans.  If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
By increasing awareness, it is hoped that cases of Lyme can be treated early, before symptoms worsen in severity.  I hope you will consider joining me as a co-sponsor designating May 2021 as “Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Illness Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania as a continued effort to benefit the overall health and quality of life of the residents of Pennsylvania.  Thank you.

Introduced as SR102