Bill authorizing Lyme disease task force awaits Gov's signature
witf.org, | 06.25.14
A bill authorizing a task force to educate the public about Lyme disease and monitor it across the state is waiting for Governor Corbett's signature.
Republican state Senator Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County says it could become an epidemic if unchecked.
In the midstate, about 800 people tested positive for the disease in 2013, slightly less than 2012.
Cases of Lyme disease have been on the rise in the midstate, according to the latest statistics from the state Department of Health.
But Doctor Fotios Koumpouras, Associate Chief of Rheumatology at the Allegheny Health Network, says one year doesn't make a trend.
"There is migration of the kind of animal that carry the ticks and that there's an increased recognition of the disease among practitioners that's causing increased numbers being reported.
"The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to do checks of the skin after you've been hiking or outdoors. The Lyme tick likes to attach at areas we don't often check, such as behind the knee, under the armpit, at the waist band, near your sock line."
Koumpouras says doctors and other medical professionals are also more cognizant of the disease and may be looking for it more often than in the past.
Dauphin and York counties combined to make up nearly half of the cases in the midstate in 2013.
Tagged under Lyme disease