past weekend, I joined members of the community, my colleagues at the General
Assembly and the National Capital Lyme Disease Association for their Loudoun
Lyme Disease 5K and Fun Run in Purcellville to highlight the legislation we
passed this year.
Jorge Arias, Environmental Health Supervisor of the Fairfax County
Health Department, was also honored at the ceremony as an expert in
vector-borne diseases. He directs the Fairfax County Disease Carrying Insects
Program focusing on Lyme and West Nile virus. Dr. Arias is responsible for major
contributions to the battle against Lyme disease, including educational
literature for both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
Delegate Comstock is joined by Monte Skall, Executive Director of the
National Capital Lyme Disease Association, Delegate Randy Minchew (R-10), and
others at the Loudoun Lyme Disease 5K and Fun
May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
in 2011, I passed a resolution to permanently designate May as Lyme Disease
Awareness Month in Virginia. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is
important to be mindful of this vital health issue and growing
Disease Information Disclosure Act
you may know, during this year's session, the General Assembly passed my bill,
the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act, which is a major milestone
in the fight against Lyme disease. Virginia is now the first state to require
health care providers to notify anyone tested for Lyme that current laboratory
testing can produce false negatives, especially in the early stage of the
Passage of this legislation is important to so many
of my constituents who have Lyme Disease or have someone in their life who suffers from this
disease. So often, patients
go untreated and undiagnosed for months and even years. When the Lyme Disease
Testing Information Disclosure Act goes into effect on July 1st, we can focus on
getting information about testing problems directly to patients so they can seek
additional testing, if necessary, as well as appropriate
Lyme Disease Test In Development At George Mason University
I joined my colleagues Delegate Hugo and Delegate Ramadan
for a meeting with researchers from George Mason University's Center for Applied
Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) and business partner Ceres Nanoscience
to learn more about a new technology that will dramatically improve detection of
researcher and Mason Assistant Professor Dr. Alessandra Luchini, recently named
as one of the "Brilliant 10" scientists under the age of 40 by Popular
Science magazine, her team and their partners at Ceres Nanoscience have been
dedicated to refining their work on a new technology called a Nanotrap that will
dramatically improve detection of Lyme Disease at much earlier stages.
Chip Petricoin, Co-Director of CAPMM and Director of Science at Ceres
Nanoscience explained the Nanotrap as a "vacuum cleaner for infectious disease
markers", able to "identify evidence of the disease when it is 2000 times
smaller" than what can be identified with current testing processes. Dr. Lance
Liotta, also co-director of CAPMM and Director of Science at Ceres Nanoscience,
noted that use of the Nanotrap test will "dramatically reduce the false
negatives of current testing processes and lead to earlier and greatly improved
treatment outcomes for those suffering from Lyme Disease."
Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
disease is the most commonly reported "vector-borne" illness in the United
States. ("Vector" refers to a toxic microbe in the blood caused by a bug bite,
such as a tick bite.) The Virginia Department of Health reports that there were
an estimated 1,110 cases of Lyme disease in the state in 2012, up 9 percent from
2011. Cases were reported in all regions of Virginia.
Early symptoms of
Lyme disease may include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches and fatigue.
If left untreated or if treatment is delayed, the disease can become chronic
with serious, debilitating complications, such as joint pain and swelling, heart
disease, neurological problems (e.g., Bell's palsy), dizziness, irritability,
ADHD-like symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, muscle weakness and
The National Capital Lyme Disease Association
National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) is an organization
dedicated to furthering public awareness of Lyme Disease and its related
co-infections, The organization has over 3,000 members, including 15 chapters
throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and North Carolina. For
more information about Lyme disease, please feel free to contact Monte Skall at
703-821-8833 or visit the
NatCapLyme website at http://www.natcaplyme.org/.
have an open door policy and always welcome you to contact my office if you have
concerns or issues you would like to discuss. You can email me at email@example.com or call
our office at 703-772-7168.
are always working to improve our outreach and communication and make sure you
receive information and we receive your input. Thank you for all that you do to
make this such a wonderful community and please keep in touch.