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Cases of Lyme Disease In Lancaster County Sre High Sfter a Mild Winter



Cases of Lyme Disease In Lancaster County Sre High Sfter a Mild Winter

(CTN News) – The mild winter in Lancaster County may have contributed to the high number of Lyme disease cases this summer, according to an infectious disease specialist affiliated with UPMC Lititz.

As a result of the winter weather, numerous ticks failed to die off, and cases have been particularly high since May, according to Dr. John Goldman. Tick bites are the cause of Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria.

According to Goldman, while this year’s cases are not necessarily worse than previous years, Lyme disease cases in Pennsylvania have increased dramatically in the past 10 to 15 years.

As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there were 2,727 cases of Lyme disease in the state in 2001. A peak of 11,900 was reached in 2017 and remained high at 9,008 by the end of the year.

The data for 2020 and 2021 indicate steep declines, but interpreting these figures is difficult due to the impact of the pandemic.

The WellSpan Health spokesperson stated in an email that the health system sees an increase in Lyme disease cases throughout the summer.

Maggi Barton, media relations manager at WellSpan Health, wrote, “We are currently seeing a general increase as would be expected for this time of year. Lancaster County is served by one hospital operated by the health system: WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital.

In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 564 cases of Lyme disease among Lancaster County residents.

A passive system is used, with busy healthcare providers submitting records on a voluntary basis, and many cases are not reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on laboratory reports and case investigations, the state Department of Health counts Lyme disease cases based on CDC estimates that the actual number of Lyme disease cases is approximately ten times what is reported. According to the department’s website, that would equate to 100,000 cases each year in Pennsylvania, or one case for every 100 residents.

According to Goldman, Lyme disease is a year-round risk, particularly during the summer months. As a result of a wet winter, ticks may have been unable to dry out and die off or freeze, and this may have exacerbated the problem.

As reported by Kyle Elliott, director of Millersville University’s weather information center, the winter was extremely mild, with precipitation near-to-slightly below average.

According to him, the period January-February was the warmest on record for Lancaster County.

Goldman advised people to be aware that Lyme disease is commonly associated with fevers and that the disease should be considered when fevers are observed. Lyme disease tests are accessible online for anyone that wants to self-test.

A rash and flu-like symptoms are possible symptoms of Lyme disease. It is frequently misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, and if left untreated, it can progress to arthritic, neurological, and cardiac symptoms.


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