Lawmaker proposes workers’ comp for tick-borne illnesses

May 19, 2022

Originally published in WWNYTV on May 12, 2022.

SYRACUSE, New York (WWNY) - As the temperature in the north country continues to rise so does the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

It’s a concern a state lawmaker from the Syracuse area is looking to address.

State Senator John Mannion announced legislation that would extend workers’ compensation coverage to any New Yorker who contracted a tick-related disease while on the job.

The cause is one that hits close to home with Mannion.

“It has impacted so many families. It has impacted my family. My daughter had Lyme disease and it actually was very acute and digressed to Lyme meningitis. She spent five evenings in the hospital. I have a piece of legislation that would make Lyme disease if contracted in the workplace, eligible for workers’ compensation,” said Senator Mannion (D. - 50th District).

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

The CDC estimates there are about 400,000 cases of Lyme disease per year - a number that some experts say could jump to 500,000 in 2022.