WENY News - New legislation aims to further combat Lyme & tick-borne disease

New legislation aims to further combat Lyme & tick-borne diseases

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) -- State Senator Tom O'Mara is co-sponsoring new legislation to help combat Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBD).  

The goal of the legislative package is to strengthen the state's short and long term strategies for dealing with those types of diseases. 

One bill would create a pilot program for Lyme and tick-borne disease testing in children. 

Another would establish a "Mental Health Impacts Report," which would require the state to conduct a study considering how infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens, such as Lyme disease, may relate to mental illness in those infected.

 There is also a bill to improve postmortem reporting of Lyme and TBDs. Those responsible for conducting postmortem examinations would be required to report to the state Department of Health (DOH) any time they discover that the deceased individual was afflicted with Lyme or any TBD at the time of death. The goal is for the reporting to help improve the accuracy of Lyme and TBDs statistics. 

The last legislative piece Senator O'Mara is co-sponsoring as part of the package would establish an expert-based Lyme and TBD's Working Group to review current best practices for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of those diseases. 

Senator O'Mara is a member of the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. 

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