|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
Individuals who are spending time outdoors this summer should check themselves for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments.
Pennsylvania has led the nation in confirmed cases of the disease for three straight years and ticks carrying Lyme have been found in all 67 counties.
Last year, a $500,000 grant was provided to East Stroudsburg University to allow all state residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free by the university. All the details are available on the Tick Lab website at www.ticklab.org.
Of the ticks submitted so far, 39% have tested positive for a tick-borne disease, confirming the health risks in Pennsylvania.
The first line of defense against Lyme is to take precautions in the outdoors by using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, checking for – and promptly and properly removing – any ticks, and showering shortly after exposure.
If bitten, an individual should monitor the area for the next month. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, a bull’s eye rash may appear, and other symptoms that can be mistaken for viral infections, such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis.
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office