Chris Philbrook

Lyme disease-carrying ticks spreading to new areas, scientists warn

Lyme disease-carrying ticks spreading to new areas, scientists warn

The blacklegged tick, which transmits Lyme disease, was identified for the first time in 76 counties in 24 states, a new study by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation found.

Source: NBC News


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Lyme Disease in PA: The Danger Lurking in Your Back Yard – A PennWatch Video

Lyme Disease in PA: The Danger Lurking in Your Back Yard

Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease cases in Pennsylvania are soaring. From 2000-2016, the total confirmed Lyme Disease cases have reached more than 83,000. According to the tick testing site, the CDC’s data only represents confirmed cases, therefore it is very probable that the actual quantity of Lyme Disease cases may be closer to more than 764,000 true cases in Pennsylvania.

How can you prevent a tick bite? Start by looking right in your own backyard.  Flora Posteraro has the story.

Source: Penn Watch


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Thousands of ticks swarmed a New Jersey woman

The foreign and invasive longhorned tick turned up on a sheep in New Jersey last fall.

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United tried to block me from carrying daughter’s meds on plane

United tried to block me from carrying daughter’s meds on plane

A Westchester mom said United refused to allow her to board a flight with a carry-on bag full of medical supplies for her chronically ill 22-year-old daughter — and even warned her not to “mess” with the flight crew.

Jill Levy-Fisch of Tarrytown said she and her daughter Sara, who suffers from a host of medical problems, were scheduled to fly from Newark to Halifax in Canada for vacation on June 28.

“Sara suffers from a severe illness that requires constant access to her medications, many administered through her chest port that must be temperature controlled,” she told The Post.

“The bag has a tag clearly indicating medical equipment,” said Levy-Fisch, 54, adding that her family has flown the route often with United, whose flight attendants have always allowed her to stow the bag in a closet.

Levy-Fisch said she had called the United disabilities line and was assured that the medical equipment could not be banned from the cabin.

But she said a gate agent insisted that the bag be checked in for the baggage hold — telling her that she had to remove any medications she needed from the bag if she wanted to bring them into the cabin.

“We told him he’d be checking an empty bag because it only contained medications. We asked to speak with a gate supervisor and he claimed to be one himself,” she said. “He was belligerent, abusive and disrespectful. We asked to speak with a flight attendant.”

The distraught woman said that after the agent accompanied her to the regional jet’s door, berating her along the way, a flight attendant said: “You do not want to mess with this crew.”

“We were shocked, upset and brought to tears. He said we couldn’t bring the medical bag on the plane,” Levy-Fisch said, adding that she had to board without her daughter because some medications were already in Canada and she needed to pick them up from where they were being stored.

Among other ailments, Sara suffers from autoimmune encephalitis, Lyme disease and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, a condition in which too little blood returns to the heart while standing up, Levy-Fisch said.

Sara’s carry-on bag contained 30 vials of IV medications, an IV pump, bags of saline, various medications, syringes, a glucose monitor and a sleep apnea device, the mom said.

“She left in tears. This was to be a fun family vacation and she didn’t deserve the treatment she received,” Levy-Fisch said of Sara, who ended up taking a Delta flight the next day.

“Once I boarded the plane, I sat quietly crying,” she added. “The flight attendant approached me to say the pilot wanted to know if I planned to ‘behave’ on the flight.

“I was afraid to say anything as I needed to get the medications at our destination and was concerned they would remove me from the plane.”

Levy-Fisch said she messaged United through Facebook prior to takeoff and was asked to get the flight attendant’s name — no easy task, she said, because he apparently hid his name badge.

Eventually, he relented and gave her his first name — Carlos, she said.

Levy-Fisch, president of the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation, said the airline refunded her daughter’s ticket, but she wanted “to ensure that such unprofessional, demeaning behavior never happens again to another person traveling on United with a disability.”

United spokeswoman Maddie King blamed the debacle on the size of the regional aircraft, which she said has smaller overhead bins that can’t fit larger bags.

“Because of this, there was no space onboard the aircraft to stow this customer’s bag, and it would only fit checked underneath the aircraft,” King told The Post.

But Levy-Fisch said she and her daughter were the first to board, “so they can’t say there wasn’t room in the closet.”

King added: “We reached out to apologize to our customer for this experience, and we refunded her ticket for the flight as a gesture of goodwill,” she said.

“We’ve also reached out to our partners at Express Jet, who operated the flight, and our team in Newark to review the way this situation was handled.”

In a statement, Express Jet rep Jarek Beem said: “We have also reviewed this flight with our crew members and apologize for any disruptions to our customers’ travel plans.”

Source: New York Post


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Local mom raising Lyme disease awareness

Carrie Perry of ABC27’s Good Day PA is ticked off at ticks. Her daughter, 18-year-old Samantha, has been suffering from Lyme disease for two and half years now.

She was in so much pain she had to leave Penn State after her first semester.

“After finals week, I studied so hard that I exhausted myself,” Sam Perry said. “I came home and I slept so much during Christmas break.”

The symptoms of a tick bite are hard to see and that makes it hard to understand what people with the disease are dealing with. Patients have a lot of joint pain and deal with exhaustion.

“I feel really sick. I feel like I want to crawl into bed, but I look pretty healthy to everyone,” Sam Perry said.

To get the message out, Carrie Perry is working on a national campaign called Project Lyme. The goal is to raise awareness about prevention, education and early detection.

The number of cases is exploding. Pennsylvania has the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the country.

“It not only allows me to share my daughter’s story but my story. I’m going through this, too. I’m not sick with it, but I’m a parent who wants to get her child well,” Carrie Perry said.

Project Lyme was founded a year ago by Heather Hearst. She had Lyme disease when she was 14 years old and was sad to hear about stories like Sam’s.

“It really pulled at my heartstrings. It’s personal to me. I also thought this is crazy. I had this 30 years ago and this should be getting better, not worse,” Hearst said.

It may be tough to diagnose and tough to treat, but Lyme disease is preventable by taking the right precautions.

Source: ABC27

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‘Don’t let your guard down during mild weather,’ Lyme disease expert says

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – While ticks are most active in spring and summer, they’re taking advantage of the mild November weather.

“Don’t let your guard down. They are out there. The adults are looking for their final blood meals of the season,” said Heather Hearst of Project Lyme, an awareness effort designed to help people protect themselves against the disease.

Hearst says ticks like to hide in leaf piles, so you need to be careful when you’re working in the yard.

She also says symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to having a cold or flu. She says people need to take all necessary precautions and protect themselves.

“If you know that you have been in an area that has ticks, it would be good to get your clothes off as soon as you come inside and put them in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes,” she said.

She says people check their entire body for ticks and do the same for their pets.

Pennsylvania is among states with the highest number of tick-related illnesses.

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Source: abc27

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