House Resolution 757 designated May 2014 as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness, carried through the deer tick, that causes a general infection throughout the human body. If left untreated it can have serious consequences including nervous system damage and debilitating arthritis.
In Pennsylvania, the risk for contracting Lyme disease is highest during the months of April through July. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, roughly 4,000 cases have been reported in Pennsylvania annually, with the highest incidence in the southeastern parts of the Commonwealth.
Experts advise avoiding tick-infested habitats, including heavily wooded areas, tall grass and other areas where deer may frequent. If that is not possible, individuals should take precautions and wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and pants; use insect repellents; and check themselves, their children and their pets for ticks following outdoor activities.
While Lyme disease symptoms often manifest in the form of a bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite, the rash may not always appear. Other symptoms include fever, malaise, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and joint pain. Most cases of Lyme disease in their preliminary stages are readily treated with antibiotics.