May 2017: Lyme Disease Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Lyme disease is caused by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick and can be transmitted to people and animals; and,

WHEREAS, in Michigan, the first official culture confirmed case of Lyme disease was in 1992. Cases have now been reported in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula and are increasing; and,

WHEREAS, knowing where ticks occur and how to prevent tick bites is the most important way to prevent Lyme disease; and,

WHEREAS, ticks can be small and hard to detect, so that many people who contract Lyme disease do not recall being bitten; and,

WHEREAS, in some cases, lack of early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment can result in lingering physical and neurologic symptoms; and,

WHEREAS, prompt treatment with antibiotics in the early stage of infection is effective, thereby preventing permanent damage and complications of Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome; and,

WHEREAS, the number of reported cases is expected to continue to increase due to expanding tick ranges, and improved recognition by healthcare providers and the public; and,

WHEREAS, it is always prudent to use precautions when spending time in wooded areas with over the counter products containing DEET on skin, as well as wearing protective clothing treated with Permethrin to prevent the bite of ticks; and,

WHEREAS, performing daily tick checks and removing ticks promptly can prevent Lyme disease, as it takes greater than 24 hours of tick attachment for Lyme bacteria to be transmitted; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to encourage our residents to become better educated about Lyme disease and how they can protect themselves from infection;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.