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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced they will be conducting a five-year surveillance of ticks to assess the risk of tickborne illnesses across the state.

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The survey, which started in July 2018, is taking place in every county in Pennsylvania to track ticks’ habitats, life stages and peak activity levels and to test them for human pathogenic diseases.

It’s all part of the Pennsylvania Lyme Disease Task Force recommendations for combating the growing incidence of Lyme and other tickborne diseases. It is funded annually through the state budget.

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Thirty-eight counties are also conducting a specific survey of nymphal blacklegged (Ixodes scapularis) ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease to humans.

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Since July 1, 2018, DEP collected 3,663 adult black-legged ticks for testing.