State Senate hearing debates Lyme, other tick-borne diseases


ALBANY – Federal, state and private research dollars may be spent each year looking for cures to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and how to kill the carriers, but more funding is needed. That was the general consensus of those who testified at the Albany session called by Senator Susan Serino (R, Hyde Park) on Tuesday.
Jill Auerbach, a 20-year Lyme sufferer, who formed the Hudson Valley Lyme Disease Association, told the panel that more research must be conducted, physicians must be better educated in the treatment of those diseases, and insurance companies should not be allowed to dictate treatment by way of coverages.
“For 43 years ticks and their pathogens have been allowed to spread unabated like wildfire. What was once a Connecticut problem is a problem across the USA,” Auerbach said.
Andrew Evans of the Dutchess County Health Department termed tick disease “a top priority” and he said more money is needed for public outreach.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the state is providing funding each year to keep the public informed and is working with federal health agencies to continue research to treat the disease, develop a vaccine and means to kill off the tick population. 

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