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Got a Tick Bite? How This Pennsylvania Lab Can Help Prevent Lyme Disease

Francesca Dabecco
Francesca Dabecco
Posted on June 22
A tick warning sign in the woods.

A tick warning sign in the woods. (24K-Production / Getty)

It’s officially summer, which means it’s also tick season. And unfortunately, Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease — the CDC estimates around 100,000 cases in the state per year. Symptoms include a bullseye rash around the bite, fever, fatigue, joint stiffness, and headache.

The key to preventing Lyme disease is examining your body immediately after spending time outdoors and removing any ticks, making sure to retrieve the tick's head. You can also treat your clothing and gear with permethrin.

With climate change, Pennsylvania will get warmer and wetter summers, and ticks thrive in those conditions. But there’s good news, too — the PA Tick Lab is focusing on vaccinating host species, like white-footed mice and deer, to curb the spread of Lyme. (There’s currently a K9 vaccine for Lyme, but the human vaccine is still in trials.)

✉️ And you can help with research. If you get bitten by a tick, remove it, place it in a plastic bag, and send it to the PA Tick Lab to be tested for disease. Testing is free for Pennsylvania residents.

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