Pennsylvanian’s warned of tick-borne diseases, treatment encouraged

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) along with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are reminding residents that tick-borne diseases are present across the state.

They also encourage Pennsylvanian’s to seek medical treatment if they have been bitten by a tick.

“As we head into the summer months, we are encouraging all Pennsylvanians to protect themselves when spending time outdoors,” said Acting DOH Secretary Alison Beam. “We have seen increases in tick bite-related emergency department visits in nearly all regions across the state and while this trend is expected this time of year, it’s an important reminder that tick-borne diseases continue to be prevalent in Pennsylvania. If you have been bitten by a tick and are showing symptoms of a tick-borne illness, it’s important that you contact your health care provider to get treatment as soon as possible.”

The administration also provided tips to reduce their chances of being bitten by ticks:

• Cover exposed skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing
• Avoid tick-infested habitats such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass
• Use an EPA-approved insect repellent
• Once returning home, immediately check yourself, children, and pets for ticks
• Take a shower immediately to remove ticks that may be crawling on skin
• If possible, dry clothing and gear in a dryer to kill any ticks

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are the most common carrier of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Powassan virus. Ticks typically flourish in tall grass, brush and wooded areas, but deer ticks have been found in every county in the state and can live in any habitat.

Ticks are most likely to infect humans during the late spring and summer but can also infect humans year-round.

More information on ticks and tick-borne diseases in Pennsylvania can be found by visiting the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.

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