Lyme’s Disease is the seventh leading major disease in the United States. Every outdoor-minded person needs to take precautionary measures against it. With 4,000 cases of Lyme’s disease in Pennsylvania in 2012, Senator Richard Alloway introduced legislation to add Lyme’s Disease awareness to the curriculum of the six-hour hunter education course required by law for Pennsylvania residents to obtain a hunting or trapping license.
This legislation is well meaning, but, should this additional schooling be targeted toward young sportsmen? What about hikers, bikers, birders, and the many other groups that use our fields and forests? Should they have a mandatory educational course as well? Although this only affects the state of Pennsylvania, the requirement can easily spread to other jurisdictions. Read about the bill and let your voice be heard.
The Senate adopted a resolution Monday urging the Pennsylvania Game Commission to add Lyme Disease education to the state’s mandatory Hunter-Trapper Education courses. Senate Resolution 338, sponsored by Senator Richard Alloway II (R-33), promotes wider awareness of the risks posed by Lyme Disease by encouraging the addition of a new component in the six-hour training class required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers. “Sportsmen are at a much greater risk for Lyme Disease due to the amount of time they spend outdoors,” said Alloway, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee. “The severe long-term consequences of this disease make it imperative to ensure sportsmen understand the risks and symptoms so they can seek prompt treatment if exposed.”
Lyme Disease is a potentially serious disease carried by deer ticks and is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. In addition to a darkened area at the site of the tick that resembles a bull’s eye rash, symptoms can include fever, headache, joint pain and fatigue. Failure to adequately treat the disease may lead to long-term damage to the heart and central nervous system. There were more than 4,000 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania in 2012.