WHAT: The Division of Public Health (DPH) is conducting activities statewide during Lyme Disease Awareness Week (May 19 – 25, 2019).  Media are invited to attend the following:

1) Presentation to seventh graders as part of the BLAST Lyme Disease Campaign coordinated through the Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. The campaign utilizes a health educator to visit camps, schools, and other Delaware organizations in order to increase awareness of tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, how to prevent tick bites as well as safely remove ticks. DPH also provides youth-focused information and activities at: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/epi/lymekidskorner.html .
WHEN:   Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
WHERE: Smyrna Middle School – Multi-purpose Room, 700 Duck Creek Parkway, Smyrna, DE  19977
WHO:     Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director, DPH
The Honorable Pete Schwartzopf, Speaker, House of Representatives (D-14) (invited)
Emily Marshall, Trainer/Educator, DPH
VISUALS: Lyme disease presentation, students engaged in game-based review, visuals of ticks

2) DPH presents six tick bite prevention trail signs to the Town of Milton.  The poly-vinyl signs are available free of charge to all municipalities and parks statewide, while supplies last.
WHEN:     Wednesday, May 22, 2019 – 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
WHERE:  Town of Milton
SPEAKERS:      Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director, DPH
Greg Wingo, Director, Milton Public Works
The Honorable Pete Schwartzopf, Speaker, House of Representatives (D-14) (invited)
The Honorable Stephen Smyk, State Representative (R-20) (invited)
DPH Epidemiology staff
VISUALS: presentation of tick bite prevention trail signs; speakers available for interviews regarding symptoms, prevention tips, etc.

WHY:  Delaware is among the top 10 states with the highest incidence rates in the United States.  Untreated infections can lead to debilitating and sometimes dangerous health problems, including heart palpitations and dizziness, joint pain, meningitis, and problems with concentration and short-term memory.

Blacklegged or deer ticks transmit the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and B. mayonii to humans through their bites.  In 2018, DPH reported 520 cases of Lyme disease (confirmed and probable cases):  302 in New Castle County, 87 in Kent County, and 131 in Sussex County.  For more information on Lyme disease in Delaware visit: de.gov/lyme .

QUESTIONS:  302-744-4704