Lyme Disease prevention goal of Senate initiative

Dan Mac Entee

May 24, 2016

The State Senate on Monday passed legislation cosponsored by Senator Betty Little that would direct the New York State Department of Health to develop a tick-borne disease prevention program.

The program would include guidelines to improve prevention of exposure and infection, recommendations for safe use of insect repellants and an appropriate course of action when a tick has been removed.

“Diagnosing and treating Lyme disease is very challenging because the test can yield false negatives and the symptoms can mimic many other illnesses,” said Little.  “Avoiding infection is much less costly than treating the illness.  It’s important people understand what they can do to safely enjoy the outdoors and changes in their health which may point to an infection.”
Under section 207 of the Public Health Law, the Department is authorized to conduct education and outreach programs for consumers, patients and educators and has already established a history of doing so for a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions.

The bill (S5803a) was delivered to the Assembly where companion legislation is sponsored by Assemblywoman Didi Barrett of the Hudson Valley.