Pennsylvania is working to get a handle on ticks and tickborne diseases like Lyme disease, which shows a threat to public health in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
From July 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has coordinated with county governments in a five-year effort to assess the risk of tickborne diseases throughout the state. The environmental safety program comes from a recommendation from the PA Lyme Disease Task Force.
"Lyme disease is a major public health concern in Pennsylvania," says Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine in a statement. "Many people believe that Lyme disease, and the pain-bearing ticks, are found only in forest areas. These survey investigations will help us share with all Pennsylvanians the importance of getting these steps to protect yourself, "he added.
This survey occurs in every county in Pennsylvania as a way to study ticks and their habitats, activity levels. Lehigh and Northampton counties are among 38 counties that are also part of specific surveys of nymphal blacklegged ticks.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is funding the study.
Letters will be collected using white feel drags, lying coverings and small plants for ticks. One goal is to better remember the public how to prevent tick-infested areas and their potentially harmful diseases.
Spring and summer, the survey will be available from May to August, once a week in two different sampling areas may be parks, playgrounds, recreation or other residential accommodation (with permission to have land use), according to DEP.
Nail clumps are instantly placed in a 70-80 percent alcohol solution, labeled and sent to DEP.
"Lyme disease affects thousands of Pennsylvanians each year, but ticks are also known to bring other pathogens to infect humans," DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. "This survey will provide valuable data that will help us better understand arachnids in our environment and let Pennsylvanians know how, when and where to prevent getting bitten by a disease carrier. "
Here are more from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent ticks and tickborne diseases such as Lyme disease:
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