WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — A significant increase in funding has been announced to help combat tick-borne diseases in Upstate, New York.
United State Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced an additional $16 million in federal funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions fight against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. This funding was included in the recent government funding package.
Senator Schumer stated that New York State remains the top priority for tick-related disease in the United States. According to Senator Schumer, the $16 million in funding is a $2 million increase over the 2020 level.
The increased funding will help continue research, identification and exposure prevention to vector-borne pathogens that cause such diseases.
Both Senators also assisted in securing $5 million in new funding for the Kay Hagan Tick Act with requires the CDC to enhance surveillance of Lyme and tick-borne disease. The Act additionally funds the Centers of Excellence for Lyme and tickborne disease.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried by deer ticks; transmitted through a bite to a human or animal. According to the CDC, if left untreated, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorfei travels through the bloodstream and lives in body tissues. The disease can begin as a rash and spread to the nervous system or joints.
The CDC stated that untreated and undiagnosed Lyme disease can lead to long-term effects on an individuals health.
Senator Charles Schumer commented on the recent increase in funding.
“Upstate New York has felt the brutal bite of Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases for years now, and thankfully this sorely-needed increase in CDC funding and the Kay Hagan Tick Act will provide the resources needed to strike back,” stated Senator Schumer. “New Yorkers and their children shouldn’t have to worry that spending time in their backyards will leave them with a debilitating ailment like Lyme disease, and this funding will help prevent that.”