Lyme group will host congressional lunch forum on tick-borne disease |

Lyme group will host congressional lunch forum on tick-borne disease

Patrick Varine
Tribune-Review file

In addition to a rally Tuesday in Harrisburg aimed at drawing attention to the treatment of tick-borne illness in Pennsylvania, the Center for Lyme Action will host a congressional lunch forum to push for more efforts to address what center officials call “an invisible epidemic.”

“Lyme is a frustrating and debilitating disease, but it’s a problem we can solve,” said longtime advocate Bonnie Crater. “What is needed is dedicated and sustained funding to research and commercialize a better way to diagnosis and treat this growing public health threat.”

Crater and center officials will host a forum Tuesday in Washington D.C. with opening remarks from U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., who serves as chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., co-chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus and chairman of the House Agriculture Committee; and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., co-chair of House Lyme Disease Caucus.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will deliver the keynote video address. The forum will also feature the perspectives of doctors, leading disease experts, representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and young patients.

Smith in June introduced House Resolution 3073, the “Ticks: Identify, Control and Knockout,” or TICK Act, would create an Office of Oversight and Coordination for Vector-Borne Diseases within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

That director would oversee the creation of a national strategy to address Lyme and other tick- and vector-borne diseases, including the expansion and improvement of tick surveillance, development of testing to more effectively and accurately diagnose Lyme and other vector-borne diseases and the awarding of grants, contracts and agreements to establish regional “centers of excellence” in tick- and vector-borne disease.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 300,000 people are diagnosed annually with Lyme disease.

The TICK Act is currently in the House’s Committee on Energy and Commerce. An identical Senate bill, introduced in May, is in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.