Erie County Department of Health (ECDH) provides education to the public on ticks and Lyme disease by identifying tick species for individuals that find ticks on themselves, family members or pets. Remove an attached tick by placing tweezers parallel to the skin, and pulling gently on the head. Store the tick in a small bag or sealed container. Please do not put tape over the tick.
Bring the tick to the Department at 606 West Second Street for identification between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After identification, education will be provided on the risk of transmission of Lyme disease.
Please participate in the Tick and Lyme Disease Survey of Northwestern Pennsylvania Residents. The survey can be accessed online (hyperlink: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TALDS-ERIE) or in print. If you are hosting an event and would be able to pass out the survey, or are interested in educational materials/survey distribution, call Erie County Department of Health at 814-451-6700.
Northwest Pennsylvania Tick Taskforce
ECDH sits on the Northwest Pennsylvania Tick Taskforce along with Regional Science Consortium, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Mercyhurst University, LECOM, PA SeaGrant and Penn State Cooperative Extension.
By collaborating with these partners, we aim to more widely educate and inform residents about ticks and tickborne illnesses. Current projects include development of signage and educational material, research, tick identification and awareness initiatives throughout Erie County.
Ticks in Erie County
At the end of the 2015 year, there were 116 submissions to ECDH for tick identifications. The number of submissions has decreased by 49 submissions when compared to the 2014 submissions. Of the 116 submissions, 101 were Deer ticks, 2 were Lone Star ticks, 4 were American Dog ticks, and 8 submissions were classified as “other”. Beetles, bed bugs, scabs, seed pods and unidentifiable ticks are listed in the “other” category. The vast majority of submissions are from Northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties. Ticks were also submitted by residents who had recently visited Clarion, Mercer and Warren counties (PA), Clymer (NY) and Virginia.
There were 59 cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in Erie County in 2015. The case count has yet to be confirmed by Pennsylvania Department of Health and may be incomplete due to a reporting lag.
To learn more about Lyme disease, read attached brochure, Lyme Disease: What you need to know (hyperlink: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/resources/brochure/lymediseasebrochure.pdf).
Additional information on ticks and Lyme disease can be found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (hyperlink: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/) or the Pennsylvania Department of Health(hyperlink: http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/I-L/Pages/Lyme-Disease-.aspx#.VyC-WPkrLrc ).