July 28, 2016
State Senator Tom O’Mara says his two pieces of legislation to help those suffering from Lyme Disease can go through years of difficulty, has been signed by the governor.
“Senate Bill Number 5803 (Chapter 167 of the Laws of 2016) requires the state Department of Health (DOH) to design, develop and disseminate an aggressive, comprehensive and statewide public awareness, education and prevention campaign to reduce the public’s exposure to Lyme and other tick-borne infectious diseases – recognizing the effectiveness and importance of early education and prevention in preventing the spread of these diseases; and Senate Bill Number 5804 (Chapter 109 of the Laws of 2016) complements the statewide DOH awareness campaign by requiring the development of age-appropriate instructional materials and tools that will be made available to schools and libraries to help reach school-age children with the awareness and prevention message. Supporters of the legislation cite an increasing demand from school and libraries for instructional materials geared towards children.
“Approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said O’Mara. “More than 450 new cases of Lyme disease were reported in New York State alone last year. That number is expected to continue rising as disease-laden ticks spread to more and more regions of the state, including the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.”