Dealing with Lyme disease

“It seems like everywhere I go, someone comes up to me to talk about how Lyme disease has severely impacted their lives or someone they know,” said Smith, R-4th of Robbinsville.”

Excerpted from  ( Posted: 07/26/2011 ) 

New Jersey’s high number of Lyme disease cases has prompted Congressman Chris Smith to pen legislation to help coordinate efforts to combat the disease and others carried by ticks.

New Jersey ranked fourth in the country in reported Lyme disease cases with 4,973 in 2009, the most recent year statistics are available, according to the nonprofit Lyme Disease Association.

In 2008, the state reported 3,214 cases.

A total of 407 of the 2009 cases were reported in Burlington County, ranking it fourth among New Jersey’s 21 counties, behind Hunterdon (444 cases), Sussex (434) and Monmouth (409).

Smith’s legislation would create a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee, which would be charged with communicating and coordinating activities related to Lyme disease prevention, treatment, and research among federal agencies, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture.

The bill would require the committee to meet at least twice a year and submit an annual report on committee functions and Lyme disease activities.

Smith, who co-chairs the House Lyme Disease Caucus along with Virginia Congressman Frank Wold and Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Holden, said the growing number of cases demands a coordinated response.

For the complete article:

~ by Rob on July 27, 2011.

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