YORK COUNTY – Tick season is here in Pennsylvania and the Department of Health has a warning. They say the mild winter did not kill off the bugs and you could start seeing ticks right away.
In PA the number of cases of lyme disease is one of the highest in the country, with ticks carrying lyme disease being found in each of the state’s 67 counties.
Dr. Rachel Levine is the Secretary of Health for the state. She says that “Ticks that carry lyme disease can be found in any part of our state, whether rural, suburban and even urban areas.”
Just in 2017 alone the Department of Health reports that there were 11,900 cases of the disease.
Lyme disease is a disease that can cause life-threatening complications if left untreated and is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick.
Dr. Levine says someone with Lyme disease may not be aware that they have been bitten by a tick.
“Ticks can be very small and hard to see. If a circular rash that looks like a bulls-eye appears, you should consult with a physician, as you may have Lyme disease. However, not all persons with Lyme disease develop a rash.”
Some of the symptoms of having lyme disease include, fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pain and a skin rash. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.
The Department of Health says when out and about this spring and summer be prepared and avoid grassy or wooded areas where ticks may live.
Ticks can even be found in your own back yard.
It is recommended that you wear insect repellant with at least 20% deet.
You should wear long sleeves and pants when you can. Be sure to check clothing, hair and pets before going inside and shower within 2 hours of being indoors.
Showering will also help any unattached ticks to be washed off.
If you do find a tick on your skin the CDC says to use tweezers to remove it from your body and clean the area where the tick was found.
Governor Tom Wolf is continuing to address lyme disease by proposing 2.5 million dollars in the 2019-2020 budget toward lyme disease education and prevention.
If you develop any signs or symptoms of Lyme disease, see your healthcare provider immediately.
If untreated, the disease can cause joint swelling, cardiac or neurologic complications, and is more difficult to treat.