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Fighting Lyme disease

June 4, 2014

Too often does Lyme disease goes undiagnosed and untreated. With the warm weather of spring and summer, comes the risk of contact with ticks. Deer ticks can spread Lyme disease, and unfortunately our area has a high population of deer, thus creating a high concentration of deer ticks. Congressman Chris Gibson is currently sponsoring legislation in Congress that will help us with the burdens of Lyme disease.

Congressman Gibson’s bill focuses on five main areas of Lyme disease. Two of these are awareness and tick suppression. There are certain measures and precautions an individual can engage in, in order to prevent direct contact with deer ticks. The first and foremost method is by being aware of the presence of deer ticks. Before you go on a hike, work in your garden or on your lawn, be sure to ask yourself if you will be within proximity of possible Lyme disease transmitters. If the answer is yes, wear clothing covering as much skin as possible and use insect repellant that contains DEET. After any outdoor activities be sure to do a thorough and complete tick check, as it takes 24 hours of skin attachment for the tick to pass on Lyme disease.

Congressman Gibson’s bill also focuses on testing, treatment and healthcare coverage. With this legislation, there will be stricter and more extensive research done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the most effective prevention and diagnostic methods. It will also provide guidelines for insurance companies to be the most effective in giving patents the best care, while being affordable for everyone.

It is vital that we take these initial steps in order to combat this growing epidemic. By focusing on awareness, tick suppression, testing, treatment and healthcare coverage, we can create long-term solutions.

Nancy Seekamp
Preston Hollow, NY