HARRISBURG –With most citizens focused COVID-19, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) wanted to highlight and bring awareness to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Currently, Brown is sponsoring House Resolution 760
, which designates May 2020 as Lyme and Tick-borne Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, and the House is expected to vote on the resolution this week. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.
“The main focus right now is on the COVID-19 health crisis; however, I do not want residents to forget about other serious illnesses wreaking havoc in Pennsylvania like Lyme disease, especially since many are spending more time outside due to the current mitigation efforts,” said Brown. “It is important that residents check themselves and their pets for ticks after returning from the outdoors and contacting our tick research lab for a free tick test should any ticks be found. I continue to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvanians who are affected by this disease and other tickborne illnessesand fight for better policies that will aid our medical communities with further research and education initiatives related to this disease.”
According to Nicole Chinnici, director of the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute, after the launch of the free tick testing program in April 2019, the Tick Lab, located at East Stroudsburg University (ESU), has received and tested 17,135 ticks representing all 67 counties in the Commonwealth. The prevalence of tick-borne diseases is indicated on the map below. The counties with the highest percentage of ticks testing positive for a tick-borne disease include: Cameron – 44%, Clearfield – 41%, and Forest – 41%. In the Pocono Mountains region of northeast Pennsylvania, Wayne County had 32%, Monroe 31%, Carbon 30% and Pike 29%. On average, Lyme disease is detected in 32% of ticks in Pennsylvania.
All county level data can be found at ticklab.org/statistics
Brown would like to remind Pennsylvania residents that they may have ticks tested for FREE at Tick Research Lab after removing them.
For more information about ESU’s Tick Research Lab and how to obtain free tick testing, residents can visit their website at ticklab.org
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Krueger