Federal and state statistics on Lyme disease are two years behind and show Pennsylvania as one of twelve states with the most cases. Health officials say the disease seems to be spreading west and north in Pennsylvania.
An infectious disease specialist at DuBois Regional Medical Center says Lyme disease is prevalent , but when treated quickly, poses no long-term danger.
According to Dr. Jonathan Pope, "what causes some controversy and confusion is that the blood test for the disease will remain positive even after treatment, so that doesn't mean that one is still infected, it simply means that you have been exposed and you have antibodies against the bacteria."
Dr Pope says a bulls-eye rash is the tell-tale sign of Lyme disease, although not every patient develops it. Other signs include mild to severe flu-like symptoms, along with muscle and joint pain.
He says a tick has to remain attached for several days to cause Lyme disease. Treatment with an antibiotic, right away can prevent or cure it.
For more information on Lyme disease.