Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases: Pennsylvania issues health advisory


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the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) identified recent sustained increases in tick Relevant emergency department visits in almost all areas of the state. This trend was expected, since tick exposure in Pennsylvania generally increases during the spring and summer months and serves as an important reminder that tick-borne illnesses occur seasonally in Pennsylvania. In addition to the increase of people seeking care Lyme disease (LD) is expected in the coming weeks to months as the peak period for LD is late May through early August. From April to September, health care providers should have an increased clinical suspicion of tick-borne disease.


LD reporting in Pennsylvania is now based entirely on laboratory reports that the Department of Health receives directly from laboratory-based reports, not clinical reports.

In Pennsylvania, LD is the most common tick-borne disease and usually appears during the months from May to September throughout the Commonwealth. In 2020, Pennsylvania ranked sixth in the nation for the number of learning disability cases reported by residents.

In 2021, there were 2,900 reported cases of LD in Pennsylvania, representing an incidence of 22.4 cases/100,000 people. Most were reported between May and August, with 46.1% reported in June and July. Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, 58 have reported a learning disability, which ranges from 0 cases in nine counties to 403 cases in Chester County.

It should be noted that LD was not reported significantly in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Therefore, the case numbers are likely to be much higher than reported, and cases likely occurred in much higher numbers in all of Pennsylvania’s counties.

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Anaplasmosis, a bacterial disease transmitted by deer ticks, is on the rise in the United States and Pennsylvania. Anaplasmosis cases have nearly doubled each year for the past five years and are now found in nearly every county in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tick studies have found that deer ticks are infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum in every county in Pennsylvania. In 2021, Pennsylvania reported 683 cases of anaplasma.

Several other non-Lyme tick-borne diseases are also reported annually in Pennsylvania, including babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, crickets disease, and spotted fever. In addition, human cases Puasan The viral disease, a tick-borne arbovirus, was documented in 2011 and 2017-2021. Results of DEP tick studies conducted over the period 2019-2021 found additional evidence of Powassan in multiple counties.

In 2022, Pennsylvania reported its first human case Heartland virusarbovirus transmitted by lone star ticks. Neighboring states have identified Bourbon virus in lone star ticks collected from the environment. Lone star ticks are established in some areas of Pennsylvania.

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