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Dept. Of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians To Avoid Ticks


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Dept. of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians to Avoid Ticks

exploreVenango | March 23, 2021

Screenshot at Mar 22 23-04-10HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the new spring season here, the Wolf Administration reminds Pennsylvania residents and visitors to avoid ticks by taking precautions when spending time outdoors as the weather warms.

“Spending time outdoors and participating in physical activity is a key part of living a healthy life,” said Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam. “While we encourage safe recreation, we must be aware of ticks and the serious diseases they carry. As Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases become more prevalent in Pennsylvania, it is important to protect yourself when spending time outdoors.”

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are the most common carrier of Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis. Ticks typically thrive in tall grass, brush, and wooded areas, but deer ticks have been found in every county in the commonwealth and can live in any habitat.

Common signs of a tick disease include fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Lyme disease is often characterized by a bullseye-like rash, although Lyme disease may not always present itself with this obvious sign. If you believe you have been bitten by a tick, it is important to speak to a doctor immediately.

Ticks are most likely to infect humans during the late spring and summer but can also infect humans year-round.

“As climate change continues to warm our winters, we’re seeing higher tick populations surviving months that used to be too cold to survive,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “As the number of ticks continues to rise, so do the odds of tick-borne disease transmission. We must remain diligent – both in protecting ourselves from bites, but also in seeking long-term solutions to address climate change.”

The Wolf Administration reminds Pennsylvania residents and visitors of simple ways to reduce their chances of being bitten by ticks:

• 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 percent or more DEET
• Once returning home, immediately check yourself, children, and pets for ticks
• 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

“Whether visiting one of our 121 state parks, hiking our more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, or enjoying your own backyard, we must be cognizant of our surroundings,” said Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn. “Proper personal care and actions can keep us safe while enjoying the outdoors.”

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  • 5 weeks later...

2021 Tick season expected to be worse than last year

by: Scott Madaus

Posted:  / Updated: 
 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Tick season starts in mid-April, and experts predict this year will be one of the worst seasons yet.

While we have had close to average temperatures, there has been more rain and moisture both in the air and in the ground. This can cause an increase in ticks this year as the season spans from April to late October.

There are multiple types of ticks in Pennsylvania: the deer tick, brown dog, American dog and Lonestar ticks that reside in wooded areas. However, the deer tick is the most deadly one for our area, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), there were 9,009 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania. Lyme disease can lead to severe symptoms that affect the heart, nervous system and joints over time if it is not treated.

Kevin Walter of Lawn Doctor and Yard Armour said the ticks seem to be getting worse consistently. He said he and his team have already seen an increase in ticks this year before the start of the season.

“They feed on blood, so they’re looking for a food source,” Walter said.

REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF TICK BITES

The following tips have been provided by the DOH:

  • Walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Use a repellent that contains at least 20% DEET
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Conduct full-body tick checks on yourself and on your pets after spending time outdoors
  • Take a bath or shower within 2 hours after coming indoors

SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE

  • A red, swollen bulls-eye shape rash
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes                                                                                                                                 SEE VIDEO REPORT     ;    https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/regional-news/tick-season-2021/
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Helping the Fight Against Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country. This week, the House approved legislation to help aid in the treatment of this potentially debilitating disease.  

House Bill 1033 would require health insurers to provide coverage for long-term antibiotic and antimicrobial therapy for a patient with Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses when ordered by a health care practitioner. The health care practitioner could order the treatment after making a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic test results or response to treatment, and would be required to disclose to the patient all risks and benefits associated with the recommended treatment options.

Lyme disease can be easily treated with antibiotics when caught and treated early. If untreated, the disease can cause joint swelling, cardiac or neurologic complications. The most severe cases can be debilitating. To learn more about Lyme disease, click here.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
 

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