York County Lyme disease cases increase 34% over 2013

Written by Flint McColgan, Daily Record/Sunday News | Jun 11, 2015 10:45 AM

Across Pennsylvania cases increased by 25 percent

Incidents by region
Incidents by region across Pennsylvania growth over time. York's region, the south central region, has the third highest incidence rate. (Submitted)

Lyme disease, a serious disease transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick, has increased throughout Pennsylvania, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

There was a 25 percent increase in new disease cases statewide and a nearly 34 percent increase in York County of reported cases of Lyme disease in 2014 over the previous year.

"The prevalence of this illness serves as a reminder for people to better protect themselves from tick bites and to know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease," said state Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy in a prepared statement. "For those with the disease it is important to seek early treatment to avoid any potential long-term health complications."

Five year average incidence by region
Five year average incidence by region in Pennsylvania (Submitted)

The department recorded a total of 7,400 cases in the state in 2014 compared to 5,900 cases in 2013. In York County, there were 77 more new cases, at 304, in 2014 than the 227 recorded in 2013.

The northeastern corridor of the United States, of which Pennsylvania is a part, is the heaviest region of the country for incidence of Lyme disease cases, according to a map provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lyme disease symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and joint pain, according to a news release.

The blacklegged tick is found in every county in the state, especially in areas with dense bushes or tall grass, according to the release. Avoid an encounter through the use of repellents with diethyltoluamide (DEET) and protective clothing. A tick should be promptly removed with fine-tipped tweezers.

-- Reach Flint McColgan at (717) 487-0823 or on Twitter @FlintMcColgan

This article comes to us through a partnership between The York Daily Record and WITF.

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