I plan to introduce a Resolution designating May 2024 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2021, there were 2,900 Lyme disease cases reported in Pennsylvania.  Though the CDC estimates under-reporting by a factor of 10, projecting occurrence rates, more accurately, near 29,000.  From 2010 to 2021, there have been 85,276 confirmed Lyme disease cases in Pennsylvania, but again, due to the estimated under-reporting, the actual quantity of Lyme disease cases in this time frame may possibly be over 852,000.  Also, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 data may be incomplete.  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 2024 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.