Members of the Erie County Legislature voted unanimously in favor of a resolution recognizing the Month of May as ‘Lyme Disease Awareness Month’ in Erie County.
The resolution, sponsored by Minority Leader Joe Lorigo, recognizes the severity of Lyme disease and aims to raise awareness of its symptoms as well as preventative measures individuals can take to protect themselves. According to the Erie County Health Department, the number of Lyme disease cases reported in Erie County in 2017 nearly quadrupled the number reported in 2015.
“Lyme disease is a serious public health concern that has had a devastating effect on many families and individuals in Erie County,” said Minority Leader Lorigo. “Because of its increased presence, it is important to educate our community of the signs and symptoms in hopes of preventing more of these cases”
Typically, Lyme disease is contracted by tick bites and can invade the nervous system causing serious side effects if left untreated. Many common symptoms include: fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, joint or muscle pain, stiffness or swelling, headache and a rash from the tick bite that may resemble a bulls-eye pattern. It is recommended that people protect themselves by using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly and applying pesticides to reduce ticks.
The resolution also applauds the efforts of Lyme WNY, which is an advocacy group devoted to educating the community and offering support and encouragement to victims of Lyme disease and their families.
“On behalf of Lyme WNY, we would like to thank the Erie County Legislature for declaring May to be Lyme Disease Awareness Month,” said Lyme WNY Board Member Andrea Dole. “Lyme disease is an unrecognized epidemic in our area. The more awareness we can bring to the issue, the more we can help educate people to prevent them from getting Lyme disease, as well as help people seek medical attention if presenting symptoms.”
This message is from the Erie County Legislature