North Country Congresswoman wants action on growing Lyme disease problem
Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 8:34 am

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, and colleagues are following up on a report on Lyme disease in an effort to move appropriations forward for measurement and tracking of the disease in the federal effort to fight it.

A bipartisan group of House members have written Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan regarding a report for Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations regarding Lyme disease..

The letter sent by Stefanik and her colleagues outlines the performance measures for Lyme disease as Congress considers funding levels to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC).

The goals of the effort are, in part, measuring the decrease the incidence of Lyme disease in the United States and reducing the average time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of Lyme disease. This includes increasing the number of tests performed for Lyme disease that can confirm the presence of infection.

They would also like to see an increase in collaboration between HHS agencies and state and local health departments to prevent and control tick-borne diseases, better tests, and finding ways to decrease tick populations.

“Unfortunately, the northeast is the epicenter of the Lyme Disease epidemic with over 90 percent of confirmed Lyme disease cases being reported from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut,” said Stefanik. “This letter is aimed to create specific, measurable objectives to track progress as we combat Lyme Disease. I will continue to work in Congress to support Lyme Disease research and education. The more we know about Lyme, the more we can do to treat patients and educate families to stop the spread of this debilitating disease.”