Maloney touts bill to combat tick-borne illnesses

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and an upstate Republican colleague on Friday announced bipartisan legislation to help tackle Lyme disease and a growing array of other tick-borne illnesses by offering grants for programs that would help people identify the ticks that bit them and their risk of getting ill.

Maloney and Rep. John Katko of Syracuse were touting the Tick Identification Pilot Program Act of 2017, a bill that Katko sponsored and that Maloney and nine other New York House members from both parties – including Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook – co-sponsored.  It would enable the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue grants to states to set up tick-ID programs. Residents of those states could email photos of ticks that bit them to a biologist, who would identify the tick’s species, life stage and likelihood of carrying disease, and make recommendations about what the bite victim should do.

“If you’re out hiking with your family or working on your farm and you get a tick bite, you should be able to get your hands on the tools you need to determine your level of risk and figure out your next steps,” Maloney said. “This pilot program will help states like New York bring our public outreach and education into the 21st century and give our people some peace of mind when they’re out enjoying nature.”


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