HAP Blog

A New Tool to Monitor Tickborne Illness

June 06, 2024

The Pennsylvania Department of Health this week launched a new online dashboard to help both residents and health care providers monitor tickborne diseases throughout the commonwealth.

The dashboard includes county-level data on cases of tickborne diseases—including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis—as well as information on related emergency department visits. The data can be used to better understand the prevalence of ticks in each county.

Pennsylvania ranked ninth for the number of Lyme disease cases reported by population nationally during 2022. Cases typically increase from April through August.

“Pennsylvania has incredible outdoor recreational opportunities, and we want to provide as much information as possible for residents to enjoy them safely," said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “Taking appropriate precautions can help avoid Lyme and other tickborne diseases that can lead to serious illness.”

The Health Department recommends the following actions to reduce the likelihood for tick bites.

  • Walking in the center of trails and avoiding areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Using EPA-approved insect repellents on exposed skin
  • Using products that contain 0.5 percent permethrin to pre-treat shoes, clothing, and gear
  • Wearing light-colored clothing, which will make it easier to see crawling ticks
  • Conducting full-body tick checks (including pets) after spending time in tick habitats
  • Bathing or showering within two hours after coming indoors
  • Placing clothing worn outdoors in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks

The new dashboard is available online.

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