Pennsylvania has been the land of Lyme disease, reporting the most cases in the country for more than 10 consecutive years.

Ixodes scapularis/CDC

Governor Tom Wolf, in his 2018-2019 budget, is proposing $2.5 million to implement recommendations from the 2015 Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania Report, issued by the Task Force on Lyme Disease and Related Tick-Borne Diseases.

The initiative includes a variety of prevention, education, awareness, and surveillance activities to lower the prevalence of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania. Specific attention will be given to coordination among agencies, Lyme Disease advisory groups, contractors, and grantees. Data collection, analysis, and program evaluation are essential components of the program.

Pennsylvania Lyme disease: An interview with Dr Amesh Adalja

“Lyme disease is a devastating illness affecting thousands of Pennsylvanians each year,” Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This funding will, for the first time, dedicate resources to our surveillance efforts so we can target resources and educate residents on prevention.

Lyme disease ticks found in all Pennsylvania counties

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“The Lyme Disease Task Force spent a year looking at how we can better address the increasing rates of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania,” Dr. Levine said. “In Governor Wolf’s proposed 2018-19 budget we are investing in our health to prevent the spread of this illness, educate residents and develop a surveillance network. Pennsylvania consistently ranks the highest in the nation in this debilitating disease and we must take action.”