Pennsylvania Task Force Calls Increase in Preventive Measures against Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania Task Force Calls Increase in Preventive Measures against Lyme Disease

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania task force called for an increase in surveillance, education and common sense preventive measures to fight against Lyme disease. The 64-page report by the task force mentioned both mainstream medical practitioners as well as representatives of a group that prodives months of high-dose treatment to patients with the disease.

Paul Auwaerter, an infectious-disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that long-term treatments carry significant risks of infections and blood clots. Also, high-doses of multiple antibiotics can even cause problem of drug-resistant bacteria. John Goldman, an infectious-disease specialist with Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg and also a task Force member, appreciates his team for involving in ‘vigorous debate’. “I prefer to concentrate on the things we were in agreement with rather than some of the things that we disagreed about”.

For the first time, the black-legged deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease had been found in all 67 counties of the state, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection report sent earlier this month. Harold Smith, Bloomsburg physician and a representative of the second group, said the panel came out with good, broad, general advice regarding public education.

According to mainstream physicians, they do not have a reliable alternative treatment except for long-term antibiotic treatment. Tomas J. Aguilar, task force chairman and director of the health department's Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, responded to mainstream physicians by saying that prevention is better and more important in such types of disease.