–With May being Lyme Disease and Tickborne Illness Awareness Month and residents so consumed with COVID-19 information, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) again sheds light on the importance of being educated about Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.
“As the weather continues to become warmer, it is imperative that residents remain vigilant in checking themselves and their pets for ticks after being outdoors,” said Brown. “Since 2019, Pennsylvanians can mail in or drop off ticks they have found on their person to determine if that tick is infected – FREE of charge. Early detection is the best detection for any disease. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses continue to pose a threat to our health both in the short-term and in the long-term, which is why I encourage Pennsylvanians to work with their doctor and our tick research lab should they be bitten by a tick. I continue to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvanians who are affected by this disease and other tickborne illnesses and fight for better policies that will aid our medical communities with further research and education initiatives.”
Through Brown’s initiative and developing a state grant, the East Stroudsburg University’s Tick Research Lab offers free tick testing to all Pennsylvania residents. The lab allows residents to mail in or drop off their tick for a variety of testing. This resource is encouraged to be used as a tool for the health of residents and their families when working with their doctor. Brown also now has a tick drop box outside her office as well to build education and convenience for residents.
To help reduce the risk of contracting Lyme Disease or other tickborne illnesses while enjoying time outdoors:
Cover exposed skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing.
Avoid tick-infested habitats such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass.
Use an insect repellent containing 20% or more DEET (spraying just from below the knee reduces exposure by 70%).
Once returning home, immediately check yourself, children and pets for ticks. (Brush your pets and your hair to help ticks from attaching).
Take a shower immediately to remove ticks that may be attached to skin.
If possible, dry clothing and gear in a dryer to kill any ticks.
Learn more about preventative landscaping around your house.
For more information about ESU’s Tick Research Lab and how to obtain free tick testing, residents can visit their website at ticklab.org