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Senator Jacobs calls for funding to combat Lyme disease


Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are on the rise in New York State.  The New York State Department of Health has said there are approximately 9,000 cases of Lyme disease and other related illnesses reported annually.

On Saturday State Senator Chris Jacobs joined with Lyme WNY to call on the state to support 1-million dollars from the budget to help combat the rise of tick-borne illnesses in the state. One factor for this rise, Jacobs said, is a lack of public awareness.

“We know that if people identify that right away and get treated, it can be a minimal impact. But if it is not identified at the point in time that it happened and it takes days and weeks before it’s identified, then the damage can be very significant.”

According to the Department of Health, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the Northeast, with New York State acting as the epicenter. Jacobs said the prevalence of ticks has been moving upstate for years, first starting in the Hudson Valley.

“We’ve seen more and more and more of it here. So now New York State is, unfortunately, one of the leading states. There were 9,000 cases identified by the Health Department in the last year, and those [cases] are identified. But there are people who walk around not knowing they have it or are misdiagnosed or something else. So it is growing."

Jacobs said there needs to be appropriate funding for this growing issue and would like to see that addressed with 8 days left before the budget is passed.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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