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Friday, August 11, 2017

State Reports Increase in Lyme Cases

Headline Harrisburg
Friday, August 11, 2017
The latest news from the State Capitol 
Increase in Lyme Cases in 2016 - Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease, which was confirmed by an approximate 20 percent increase in people infected by the tick-borne illness last year. In total, more than 11,443 cases were reported in 2016, according to a report released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Locally, Clearfield County reported 348 cases and Elk County 113 cases. Each county in the Commonwealth is confirmed to have a high risk of Lyme.

Legislatively, the House passed House Bill 174, which would require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment. The bill is now with the Senate.

The best prevention against Lyme and other tickborne illnesses is to avoid tick-infested habitats, such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass. Proper use of personal protective measures such as repellents and protective clothing, and checking for and removing attached ticks are also important deterrents to tick-related complications. Other prevention tips are available for viewing by clicking here.
Government Overreach - Earlier this year, the House State Government Committee, of which I am a member, held two public meetings to hear testimony on alleged government overreach by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

The committee held an informational meeting on Wednesday to discuss our findings and possible future action. You might wonder why this committee is examining an environmental issue. This is in fact is about governance, accountability and the impact on taxpayer dollars.

Please click here to hear my comments from the meeting that tie it all together.
On the Road Again - This Saturday, PennDOT will open the new Route 53 bridge near Madera in Bigler Township. Crews have been working since mid-July to replace the old bridge and remove it from Clearfield County’s structurally deficient list.

Next week, guide rails will be installed to finish the project. During this time, drivers can expect to encounter lane closures and roadway flaggers enforcing alternate traffic patterns. Short travel delays should be expected.
It’s been a good week for the Elk County Fair, which runs through Saturday. On Tuesday, I had the privilege of congratulating the newly crowned 2017 Elk County Fair Queen Audrey South.

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