Senator Gallivan Backs Legislation to Establish Protocol for Diagnosing and Treating Lyme Disease

NY Among the Hardest Hit Areas for Tick-Borne Diseases

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) has joined Senate colleagues from across New York in introducing legislation to better diagnose and treat Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.  The bill (S.6926), co-sponsored by Gallivan, would require the Commissioner of Health to work with health care providers and other experts to develop a standard protocol and a patient notification system for the diagnosis and treatment of this serious public health issue.

“As Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses continue to spread across the state, it is imperative that we develop guidelines to properly address this epidemic,” Gallivan said.  “Given the often complicated nature of diagnosing Lyme Disease, it is clear that a comprehensive strategy is needed to ensure that health care providers and patients are adequately informed on how to effectively treat it.”

According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State has the third highest number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the entire country.  In 2015, there were 3,252 confirmed cases in New York and more than one thousand probable cases.

The Senate Task Force on Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Diseases has just released a comprehensive report aimed at combatting the spread of Lyme and tick-borne diseases in the state. The report highlights the immediate need for a statewide action plan, as well as a legislative commitment to empowering patients and funding critically necessary research to reduce the tick population.

The 2017-18 state budget includes $400,000 to support Lyme Disease research, education and prevention efforts.