Metzger announces $100,000 grant to study Lyme disease prevention

A Dutchess County research organization searching for ways to prevent Lyme disease got $100,000 in state funding to support its work though a budget line that Sen. Jen Metzger helped secure in June.

Metzger visited the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook on Thursday to announce the grant for The Tick Project, a five-year study that the Cary Institute started in 2016 and is set to finish next year. The institute is testing Lyme-fighting approaches in 24 Dutchess County neighborhoods that include the use of a tick-killing fungus and a bait for mice and chipmunks that kills the ticks they carry.

“Lyme is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States and accounts for more than 80 percent of tick-borne diseases,” Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat who has had Lyme disease five times, said in a press release after the visit. “I have long admired Cary Institute for the invaluable work the organization does to advance our understanding of Lyme and ways to prevent it.”

The Cary Institute grant came from a $250,000 Health Department appropriation that Metzger helped secure for efforts to fight tick-borne illnesses.

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