June 20, 2014 – Co-Chair Senator Ken LaValle and the Senate Majority Coalition Task Force have passed a resolution in the Senate today calling on the federal government to reevaluate guidelines and allocate additional funding related to Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
Senator LaValle said, “We in The Senate Majority Coalition Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases recognize this epidemic as a pressing public health crisis, and have initiated steps to create a comprehensive statewide response. We need the Centers For Disease Control to focus and react in the same manner.”
The Task Force was charged with examining state and federal efforts to combat the continued spread of these diseases and make recommendations to facilitate improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment protocols in order to better protect New York residents.
The Senate Resolution (J6123) says that in 2013, the CDC reported that approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually, with most cases found in the Northeast. Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases are often misdiagnosed, and left untreated, Lyme disease can cause debilitating symptoms and serious health problems.
The Task Force states that federal funding for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases has been minimal in comparison to other diseases and has not kept pace with the need for research into diagnosis, treatment, and prevention given the number of annual cases. The Senators believe that extensive research and analysis is needed to better understand the disease, develop more effective means of testing and provide for medical treatment protocols based on best practices and updated research, as well as provide educational campaigns and outreach to the public at large. A copy of this Resolution will be transmitted to the CDC.