HARRISBURG – Secretary of Health Karen Murphy has announced the release of the first-ever comprehensive report on Lyme disease in Pennsylvania to help guide the commonwealth’s strategy to address this growing health problem.
The report, produced by the Task Force on Lyme Disease and Related Tick-Borne Diseases, provides recommendations to the Department of Health and the General Assembly on prevention, education and surveillance strategies to combat Lyme disease.
The data and findings contained in this report will help shape the department’s outreach and actions on Lyme disease in the future.
“Lyme disease is extremely prevalent in Pennsylvania, and this report provides a blueprint for how to better protect the residents of the commonwealth from this growing public health threat,” said Murphy. “The task force has developed an important tool to help lower Lyme disease rates across the state.”
The task force, created under Act 83 of 2014, was charged with assessing the research data and making recommendations in the areas of public awareness, disease prevention, and environmental surveillance.
The 20 task force members represent an array of stakeholders from state agencies and professionals in various health and research fields, as well as patient groups.
The most recent statewide data show the reported cases of Lyme disease on the rise in most counties in the state and the presence of the Lyme disease-carrying black-legged, or deer, tick in all 67 counties. For the past five years Pennsylvania has led the nation in reported Lyme disease cases.
The task force report, and additional information on Lyme disease, is available on the Department of Health’s Web site.