New York State Senate Holds Hearing on Lyme Disease Well-organized and full of good information, it should help educate lawmakers

By Lonnie Marcum

O n August 29, the New York State Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases held a public hearing, with participation from many stakeholders. Public health officials, scientists, patients, and doctors from IDSA and ILADS addressed the committee hearing, which was streamed live to a national audience.

Senator Sue Serino, who chairs the Tick-borne Disease (TBD) Task Force, along with Senator Kemp Hannon, who chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Health, moderated the hearing. Senator Serino described how her own child suffers debilitating symptoms after being bitten by a tick as well as her personal desire to improve care for Lyme patients.

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told the committee that this year, there are fewer deer ticks and fewer reported cases of Lyme disease in the state. Senator Serino questioned that assertion, wondering whether the number of illnesses is actually down or if there’s underreporting and misdiagnoses.
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