Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2013, as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the State of New York

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  • 12 / Mar / 2013
  • 14 / Mar / 2013
  • 14 / Mar / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to
proclaim May 2013, as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the State of New

WHEREAS, The health and well-being of the citizens of the State of New
York is of paramount importance to this Legislative Body; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is a common but frequently misunderstood illness
that, if not caught early and treated properly, can cause serious health
problems; and
WHEREAS, According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health, Lyme
Disease was identified and named in 1977, when arthritis was observed in
a cluster of children in and around Lyme, Connecticut; and
WHEREAS, The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE)
designated Lyme Disease as a nationally notifiable disease in January
1991; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the
United States; it is caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia Burg-
dorferi, which is transmitted to the human bloodstream by the bite of
various species of ticks; and
WHEREAS, Children aged 5 to 9 and adults in their 50s and 60s experi-
ence the highest occurrence of Lyme Disease; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can cause early symptoms such as rash and flu-
like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics if caught early;
the disease often goes undetected because it mimics other illnesses or
may be misdiagnosed; untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to severe heart,
neurological, eye, and joint problems because the bacteria can affect
many different organs and organ systems; and
WHEREAS, The best protection against Lyme Disease is to wear light-co-
lored clothing when outdoors and to check one's self carefully for ticks
when going back inside; and
WHEREAS, During 2008, a total of 35,198 cases of Lyme Disease were
reported in the United States, a 28 percent increase over the previous
year; the CDC indicates that the actual number of reported cases of Lyme
Disease that meet the CDC criteria is 10 times the amount reported,
bringing the actual number of cases that meet the CDC criteria to
351,980 for 2008; and
WHEREAS, The incidence of Lyme Disease is greatest in the northeast-
ern, mid-Atlantic, and north central regions of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Due to the large population of deer for ticks to feed on, the
occurrence of Lyme Disease in New York State is high; from 1990 to 2008,
New York had the highest number of total reported cases of Lyme Disease
in the United States, 48 percent higher than Connecticut, the state with
the second-highest number of total reported cases; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease accounts for 90 percent of all vector-borne
infections in the United States; the ticks that spread Lyme Disease also
spread other diseases, such as ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and other
strains of Borrelia; all of these diseases in one patient makes diagno-
sis and treatment more difficult; and
WHEREAS, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates
that the Lyme Disease reported cases were only 10% of actual cases that
meet its surveillance criteria; and
WHEREAS, According to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the
northeastern United States should prepare for a surge in Lyme disease in
the spring of 2012; this surge is in direct correlation to fluctuations
in acorns and mouse populations, not the mild winter; and

WHEREAS, Acorn crops vary from year-to-year, with boom-and-bust cycles
influencing the winter survival and breeding success of white-footed
mice; these small mammals pack a one-two punch; they are preferred hosts
for black-legged ticks and are very effective at transmitting Borrelia
burgdorferi; and
WHEREAS, Essentially, there was a boom in acorns, followed by a boom
in mice; now, on the heels of one of the smallest acorn crops to date,
the mouse population is crashing; the scarcity of acorns in the fall of
2011 set up a perfect storm for human Lyme disease risk; and
WHEREAS, Subsequently, during the spring of 2012, there will be a lot
of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected black-legged ticks in the forests
throughout the State of New York looking for a blood meal; instead of
finding a white-footed mouse, the tiny black-legged ticks, as small as
poppy seeds, are going to find other mammals, and unfortunately, that
mammal will be a human being; and
WHEREAS, Lyme Disease Month provides an opportunity to focus on this
significant and complex disease, to provide information on and raise
public awareness of its causes, effects and treatments, and to under-
score important education and research efforts surrounding Lyme and
tick-borne diseases; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2013, as Lyme
Disease Awareness Month in the State of New York; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


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