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Tick and mosquito borne illness and restoring a local cemetery

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Apr 30, 2019 4:36 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, April 30, 2019:

Ticks and mosquitos are more than just nuisance bugs. Their bites can be dangerous.

Spring and summer weather means that more of us are spending time outdoors, making incidental contact with these pests more likely.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced a five-year tick surveillance program last month to assess the risk of tickborne illness across Pennsylvania.

Lyme disease is known to most, however, there are other tickborne diseases with dangerous effects.

Mosquitos can also transmit serious illness through their bite, including the Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria. The Pennysylvania Department of Environmental Protection has launched a new interactive West Nile Control Program website to inform the public. 

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss mosquito and tickborne illnesses are Dr. John Goldman, MD, Infectious Disease specialist at UPMC Pinnacle, Matt Helwig, Water program specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Keith Price, PhD, Aquatic Biologist Supervisor, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

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Dr. John Goldman, MD, Dr. Keith Price, PhD., and Matt Helwig

Also, the Midland Cemetery in Swatara Township is an enduring backdrop of the community.

It is also an historic place; a burial site for slaves, black freemen and women, Buffalo Soldiers and veterans from many eras.

The cemetery was founded in 1795, and there may be many more burial sites there than head stones would indicate.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the cemetery's restoration efforts are Barbara Barksdale, Founder and President of the Friends of Midland, and Bill Steinhart, Senior Geophysicist with RETTEW. Steinhart conducted a ground penetrating radar project to help determine the actual cemetery boundaries.

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Bill Steinhart and Barbara Barksdale

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