HARRISBURG – Funding to prevent the spread of Lyme disease continues in 2019-2020 as part of the state’s spending plan, according to PA Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).
The $3 million line item will support awareness, prevention and surveillance associated with the tick-borne illness.
“It was important as a legislature to do our part in combatting a devastating illness that has adversely impacted thousands of Commonwealth residents,” said Mastriano. “Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases – I would like to reverse that trend.”
The legislature’s funding of Lyme disease programming represents a 20 percent increase. Additional funding will be used for tick testing, according to the Department of Health.
Overall, funding will be allocated toward the state’s existing Lyme disease prevention and education initiative, statewide environmental surveys, and surveillance.
A study conducted by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection found the presence of Lyme in ticks in all 67 counties.
Common symptoms include fever, chills, joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue and rashes. Antibiotics help with recovery, but when untreated, the infection can lead to arthritis and other severe problems.
“It is absolutely critical to address the increasing rates of Lyme disease, and halt the momentum of this disease,” said Mastriano. “I am looking forward to working with the Department of Health to enhance this program moving forward, for the betterment of all Pennsylvanians.”
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