State Assemblyman Fred Thiele announced the 2020 enacted state budget contains provisions to ensure Environmental Protection Funds can be used to address Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. This funding is included as part of the allocation for the EPF available for environmental health for assessments, testing, and actions including vector control.
“I have long been supportive of efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, as well as those that promote public awareness of the issue,” Thiele said. “Lyme disease is a significant public health threat that requires a concerted state effort to expand our research, prevention, and treatment efforts. The increased incidence of tick-borne disease makes this funding critically important, and I am encouraged that it was included in the final budget.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that ticks contract from biting an infected animal, usually mice or deer. The tick can then pass the disease to humans when biting skin. Ticks are usually found on the tips of grass blades or brush. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses pose a significant threat on the East End and state at large, which has become an epicenter of Lyme disease, with thousands of confirmed cases annually.