Schumer with charts showing the heaviest concentration of Lyme disease is in the northeast,
and in particular, southeastern New York and adjacent areas
STONY POINT – “We are in the middle of a tick explosion,” warned US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer during a stop at Rockland Lake State Park on Wednesday. The senator announced that a new surge in funding to the Centers for Disease Control will help fund public health initiatives all around the Hudson Valley, an area that has been dubbed the “epicenter” of tick borne diseases in the U.S.
“When it comes to our exploding tick-borne disease problem, the
Hudson valley has been feeling the brunt of the brutal bite for years
and would greatly benefit from an increase in federal funding necessary
to head this tick season off at the pass,” said Schumer.
A recently passed bipartisan bill has added $900 million to the CDC’s budget, and Schumer is calling on the organization to earmark a significant percent of their new capital towards reducing and eventually eradicating lime disease in the Hudson Valley.
“I am urging the CDC to use the increase in funding we directed their way to do more to help the counties fight tick-borne diseases like Lyme, Babesia, and Powassan,” the senator said.
Schumer cited four goals that he hopes can be accomplished by the new funds. The first two are education-based; the senator called on the CDC to develop community education and outreach programs to make sure people are aware of the ways they can prevent tick bites, as well as continue its CME program which helps ensure that health care providers are fully equipped to recognize and treat tick-borne illness.
The third goal outlined by the senator is to create a reliable method of testing for Lyme disease, as the current method is not completely accurate, producing false positives and false negatives at an “unacceptable” rate. The final goal of the new funding is finding a cure for Lyme and other tick based diseases.
Schumer was joined by local health authorities including Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County’s health commissioner. “We appreciate Senator Schumer’s advocacy,” said Dr. Amler, “more funding to help educate the public and prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as Lyme diseases would certainly be welcome.”