Harckham Bill to Help Track Spread of Lyme, Tick-Borne Diseases Passes in Senate

Tribune Community, Dutchess County NY, Governance, Health, History, Law, Legislation, Medicine, New York State, People, Rockland County NY, Westchester County, NY 2 Comments

NYS Senator Pete Harckham (SD40-D-WF).

Harckham’s bill (S.677A) requires coroners, pathologists and medical examiners to report promptly to the local or superintending health department whether a deceased person at the time of death was afflicted with Lyme or any other tick-borne disease.

“This legislation will provide important data for medical researchers and public health officials as they battle Lyme disease and other illnesses transmitted by tick bites,” said Harckham. “These illnesses can have devastating effects on an individual’s health, so it makes sense to understand just how commonplace the infections may be.”

New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett is the lead sponsor of the Lyme disease tracking bill in the Assembly.

In August 2017, the State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Health, conducted a public hearing regarding the health threats posed by Lyme and tick-borne diseases in New York State. At the time, there had been several infections and deaths in New York of Powassan virus, another tick-borne malady. It was remarked at the public hearing that current statistics on Lyme and tick-borne diseases may be undercounted because these infections had exacerbated pre-existing conditions (or engendered another illness altogether) but were not listed as the precipitating cause of death.

As a result, it is important that in cases where Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses may underlie the primary cause of death that they are reported as infections to the health authorities for appropriate surveillance and statistical accounting. Around 300,000 people in the U.S. contract Lyme disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Washington Post reported last year that over 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in an area affected by tick-borne illnesses.

To see a short video of Sen. Harckham talking about the treatment equity bill on the Senate floor today, click here.

State Senator Harckham represents New York’s 40th District, which includes the towns of Beekman, Pawling and the village of Pawling in Dutchess County; the towns of Carmel, Patterson and Southeast, and the village of Brewster in Putnam County; and the city of Peekskill, the towns of Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers and Yorktown, the town/village of Mount Kisco, and the villages of Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson, Pleasantville and Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County. 

SOURCE: Tom Staudter | Office of State Sen Pete Harckham | Communications Director

TribuneHarckham Bill to Help Track Spread of Lyme, Tick-Borne Diseases Passes in Senate

Comments 2

  1. this bill needs to be EXPANDED to include BELATED BRAIN AUTOPSIES that were NOT one at the time of death!

    my late husband, jack gordon, died 11.13.2014, after being diagnosed 2 nights earlier with advanced cancer of lung/liver areas.

    however, he was acting so strangely; i wanted a BRAIN AUTOPSY done.

    i donated his body to des moines osteopathy college for study purposes by medical students.

    i REQUESTED them to do a brain autopsy, but they said they didn’t do that.

    HOWEVER, they failed to say they REMOVE all brains, preserve them, and use them for study purposes.

    i was able to get his brain autopsied 8-11 months later where his brain made WORLDWIDE HISTORY having these 2 diseases never reported together before:

    * lyme disease/neuro borreliosis, and
    * LEWY body dementia causing jack’s visual/violent hallucinations like robin williams had!
    * they also found cluster of 24 nematode parasitic worms having LYME inside of them!

    i was promised this would be written up and PUBLISHED in a medical journal since his brain made worldwide news! pathologist failed to do so.

    so i got 2nd brain autopsy showing: lyme and bartonella aka cat scratch disease, 2 species. this wasn’t published either!

    so your bill should include a statement of ADDING brain autopsies done after his death that wasn’t done promptly.

    thank you! i have tried for 5 years to get jack’s death certificate AMENDED adding what his 1st and 2nd brain autopsies show!

    IOWA DEPT. OF HEALTH they will fight me on this costing 6 figures $ !!

    Thank you for your consideration to ADD more to your bill!

    betty gordon, widow
    52 yrs. chronic lyme patient/bartonella
    ames, iowa

  2. How exactly will it be tracked? The Lyme testing is SO INACCURATE that most people go misdiagnosed in the first place. It took 26 years for me to be diagnosed.
    ALSO- Why are we tracking DEATHS? Why aren’t we more worried about the LIVING who can’t get treatment to get better and LIVE instead of left suffering to DIE?

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