Friday, February 9, 2018

Gov. Wolf's Proposed Budget Includes $2.5 Million More To Combat Lyme Disease

The Department of Health Friday elaborated on the $2.5 million in funding proposed in Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget to combat Lyme disease in Pennsylvania.
“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.”
The proposed $2.5 million will help:
-- Hire staff at the Department of Health to implement the recommendations;
-- Build a more robust Lyme disease prevention and education program;
Conduct more well-rounded surveillance through activities like a statewide environmental survey; and
-- Improve participation in tick-borne disease surveillance with providers and local health departments.  
The Department of Health was directed by Act 83 of 2014 to convene the Lyme Disease Task Force. Its 18 recommendations include plans for prevention, education, surveillance and awareness, which are critical to beginning the process of slowing, then reducing, the growing incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
“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.”
For more information on this disease, visit the Department of Health’s Lyme Disease webpage.
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