Bill to combat Lyme disease heads to Pres. Obama for signature

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – The U.S. Senate passed legislation to combat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature.

If signed into law, it would ensure coordination among federal agencies and researchers, health care providers, and patient organizations in addressing tick-borne illnesses.

“This is an important advancement to help combat the growing epidemic of Lyme disease,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Our families should be able to enjoy nature without the fear of possibly contracting this disease.”

Between 2005 and 2014, there were 37,977 reported cases of Lyme disease in New York. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States.

Senator Gillibrand’s Office says she introduced the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act, with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY) introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives known as the Tick-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act. Provisions from these bipartisan bills were included in the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the House of Representatives last month.

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