Lyme Disease Awareness/ Prevention Legislation
20, 2014- Hanson Quickel
Today, the Pennsylvania Senate concurred in House amendments to State Senator
Stewart J. Greenleaf’s SB 177, legislation creating a task force within the
Pennsylvania Department of Health to educate the public about Lyme disease and
conduct a tick surveillance program across the Commonwealth. The
legislation will now be sent to the Governor.
task force would develop a public education program and coordinate its efforts
with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources and Department of Education to reach outdoorsman, visitors to state
parks, and students. The task force will investigate and make recommendations
to the Health Department regarding surveillance and prevention of Lyme disease
as well as development of a general public and health care professional
information and education program.
disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks. Lyme disease
and other tick-borne diseases pose a serious threat to the quality of life for
Pennsylvanians, with Lyme disease cases increasing dramatically over the past
2009, 2011 and 2012, Pennsylvania ranked highest in the country in the number
of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. From 2002 to 2012, Pennsylvania has
reported a total of 46,178 confirmed cases of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is most prevalent in Southeastern PA, it is found across the
Commonwealth. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of these
tick-borne disorders and diseases can greatly reduce risks of continued
symptoms which can affect every system and organ in the body.
disease is reaching epidemic proportions in the Commonwealth,” said Senator
Greenleaf. “I look forward to seeing SB 177 signed into law so we can
more closely monitor Lyme carrying ticks and help people avoid this