In recognition of the significant public health burden that Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases represent, Governor Murphy has proclaimed May 2022 as Tickborne Disease Awareness Month in New Jersey. While ticks are active most of the year and NJDOH receives reports of tickborne diseases year-round, May is an opportunity to remind healthcare providers and the public that tick season has arrived, to consider tickborne diseases, and to take measures to prevent tick bites. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.
The NJDOH Communicable Disease Service (CDS) offers free tickborne disease resources for the public, clinicians, public health professionals, and educators on the ‘Fight the Bite, NJ!’ page: www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/vectorborne.shtml. Two items to highlight are the education toolkit and clinical training modules:
- Educators: The Tickborne Disease Education Toolkit includes age-appropriate PowerPoint presentations with script, student handouts, activity sheets, quiz, parent letters, tick check calendar, and a teacher guide which includes learning objectives and suggested activities. We encourage schools to use these materials when developing or updating their tickborne disease curricula.
- Clinicians & Public Health Professionals: CDC offers interactive clinical education tools with case-based scenarios that provide technical training on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease (a four-part series) and ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis (one training). To complete the trainings, visit CDC TRAIN: https://www.train.org/cdctrain/welcome. FREE Continuing Education credits are available. To obtain CME, CNE, CPE, CHES or CPH credits, visit: https://tceols.cdc.gov/Home/Steps. For New Jersey HO and REHS credits, register on NJLMN: https://njlmn.njlincs.net.
Visit the CDS ‘Fight the Bite, NJ!’ page (www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/vectorborne.shtml) to access these resources and additional information on tickborne diseases.