ALBANY, NY—As predicted, this year has proven to be an especially bad year for ticks, with tick-borne diseases (TBDs) such as Lyme and Powassan taking a toll on communities across the state. Senators Sue Serino and Kemp Hannon announced today their intention to hold a public hearing on Lyme and tick-borne diseases before summer’s end.
Senator Serino, who Chairs the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and TBDs, said, “While the Hudson Valley and Long Island have long been considered the epicenters for Lyme and TBDs, it is clear that the problem does not stop here. With cases of Powassan being identified in Saratoga County, Lyme Disease being diagnosed across the state, and new tick-borne infections being identified, it is critical that we put the spotlight squarely on Lyme and TBDs to ensure that combatting their spread remains a priority here at the state level. The goal of the hearing is simple, to get answers from experts in the field about how we can improve our response to stop the spread of Lyme and TBDs and how we can better help those whose lives have been impacted by these devastating diseases.”
Senator Hannon, who Chairs the Senate’s Standing Committee on Health said, “The Senate has worked for years, through the creation of the Task Force on Lyme and TBDs and the inclusion of budgetary funding, to draw focus and gather experts in order to advance the fight against ticks and TBDs. Recent events have highlighted the need for all state entities to join us in prioritizing this fight. Now more than ever it is necessary to bring together experts and figure out how to further protect New Yorkers.”
While the details of the hearing are currently being finalized, the event is tentatively scheduled to be held on August 29, 2017 in Albany and oral testimony will be provided by invitation only. Invitations are set to go out in the coming week. Members of the media will be encouraged to attend.