wanted to share with you a press release from the National Capital Lyme Disease
Association on my legislation, HB1933, that deals with Lyme Disease. We are
fortunate to have some of the best advocates on this issue live in the
34th District and we will continue to work with them to help those
suffering from this debilitating disease.
(Richmond, VA) -
A new bill, introduced in the Virginia State Senate by Dick Black, Senator, 13th
District and in the House of Delegates by Barbara Comstock, Delegate, 34th
District proposes to ensure that Virginia residents are adequately educated and
informed of the limitations in the existing serologic tests used to detect Lyme
results rendered by commercial laboratories already bear disclaimers warning
that the results may yield false negatives thus requiring additional testing,
generally these disclosures are not seen by the patients. The Lyme Disease
Testing Information Disclosure Act will ensure that this critical information
will get to the hands of all patients being tested for Lyme disease.
look forward to working on this legislation with National Capital Lyme in order
to raise awareness about this terrible disease and the high incidence of false
negative tests for Lyme. This bill will provide more information directly to
patients so they can work with their doctors to find appropriate treatments for
those suffering from Lyme disease," said Delegate Comstock.
disease is the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the United
States today. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control ("CDC"), it is
the sixth fastest growing disease in the U.S. This disease, typically caused by
the bite of a tick, has reached epidemic levels in many counties in Virginia.
Most experts agree that reported cases are likely to represent only a tenth of
the actual number of cases.
Dick Black said, "Lyme Disease is a serious problem in my district. I know many
people who have suffered with Lyme because it was not properly diagnosed. The
long-term suffering caused by this disease can usually be avoided with early
diagnosis and treatment. This is what I am looking to address with this bill. I
look forward to working with the National Capital Lyme Disease Association to
get this important measure passed."
detected early, the disease is considered curable with a limited course of
antibiotics, typically 30 days. Unfortunately, too often diagnosis and treatment
of Lyme disease are hindered by the limited sensitivity of current tests and the
general lack of awareness of the prevalence of the disease in Virginia, even
among physicians. Attorney Susan R. Green said, "Early detection is key! These
bills will serve to insure that patients receive the information that the Labs
intended. This information is vital to their diagnosis, care and treatment."
National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association, an organization with
over 3,000 members, including eleven chapters covering the entire state of
Virginia endorses the bill. http://www.natcaplyme.org/chapters/ "The Lyme
Disease Testing Information Disclosure Bill is necessary to improve treatment
options for patients. With the raised awareness it will create, many Virginians
can be spared the devastating disability that can occur when the disease is not
discovered in time for effective treatment," said Monte Skall, its Executive
symptoms of Lyme disease may include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches,
and fatigue. If left untreated or treatment is delayed, the disease can become
chronic with serious, debilitating complications. A few examples include: joint
pain and swelling, heart disease; neurological problems such as Bell's palsy,
dizziness, irritability, ADHD-like symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, muscle
weakness and neuropathy.
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more information on Bill SB 971 and HB 1933, please contact Monte Skall at
703-821-8822 or visit the NatCapLyme website at http://www.natcaplyme.org/