WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) signed on as a cosponsor to the National Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Control and Accountability Act of 2019.
The bipartisan legislation creates a new Office of Oversight and Coordination for Tick-Borne Disease and requires the creation of a national plan to address Lyme disease.
“Lyme disease is under-studied and under-reported; we need a comprehensive federal plan that looks at Lyme disease from all angles,” Delgado said. “I’ve talked with so many folks in Upstate New York about ways to address the environmental risks and health impacts of Lyme disease. A new federal office is the tool we need to bring folks together and take action. And given that climate change is only exacerbating the spread of Lyme disease, this work is more important than ever.”
Lyme disease is a growing concern for Upstate New York residents: From 2007 to 2017, Lyme disease cases rose by 78% in the 19th Congressional District, and approximately half of adult deer ticks in the state are carriers for Lyme disease. Effectively addressing Lyme disease requires health, environmental, and research entities to work together. The bipartisan legislation that Delgado is cosponsoring accomplishes that goal by creating the Office of Oversight and Coordination for Tick-Borne Disease within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The office will foster collaboration between various government departments and organizations.
Delgado has met with Lyme disease experts and advocates in Upstate New York and is also a member of the bipartisan Lyme Disease Caucus. The caucus is committed to advancing initiatives designed to help with treatment and prevention of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, as well as educating Members of Congress and their staff on the impact of Lyme disease.