Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania is designated by CDC as a high incidence state for Lyme disease, meaning there has been an average incidence of at least 10 confirmed cases of the disease per 100,000 people for three years. There are currently 16 high incidence states in the U.S.

PAMED’s Healthy Communities project provides information on how to decrease your chances of getting Lyme disease and how to seek treatment in the early stages.


Common Lyme Disease Questions

  • How do you remove a tick?

    1. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.  

    2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

For more information on tick removal, refer to CDC’s Tick Removal and Testing.

  • When should you see a physician?

Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.

For more information, refer to CDC’s Signs and Symptoms of Untreated Lyme Disease.

  • Why should you see a physician immediately after showing signs of Lyme Disease? 

Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is important and can help prevent late Lyme disease. 

For more information, refer to CDC’s Treatment of Lyme Disease.

  • What is the best way to prevent tick bites?

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September). Know which ticks are most common in your area. 

Before you go outdoors: 

  1. Know where to expect ticks.
  2. Treat clothing and gear.
  3. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents.
  4. Avoid Contact with ticks

After you come indoors: 

  1. Check your clothing for ticks.
  2. Examine gear and pets.
  3. Shower soon after being outdoors.
  4. Check your body for ticks.

For more information, refer to CDC’s Preventing Tick Bites.