Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allegheny County Issues Tick Warning after Seeing Increase in Lyme Disease Cases

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allegheny County Issues Tick Warning after Seeing Increase in Lyme Disease Cases

Article excerpt

With an increase in reported cases of Lyme disease, the Allegheny County Health Department is warning residents about how to protect themselves from ticks, whose bite can spread the disease.

There were 145 reported cases of Lyme disease in 2013, according to a news release distributed today by the county. That marks an increase from past years, when the number of cases ranged from 16 to 35 between 2004 and 2008.

Also last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tested 56 deer ticks in Allegheny County for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, the news release said.

Lyme disease can usually be treated with antibiotics if it is caught early, Health Director Karen Hacker said.

"When it goes undiagnosed and untreated, serious complications may develop such as chronic arthritis and neurologic problems," Hacker said in a statement. "Some people may remain untreated because early symptoms are usually mild and flu-like and don't always include a telltale 'bull's-eye rash' that can appear 3 to 30 days after the bite. …

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