Protect You and Your Family from Lyme Disease

Congressman Gerry Connolly
2014-07-16 15:38:21
Congressman Gerry E. Connolly - Representing the 11th District of Virginia Dear Friend, With the summer months upon us, I would like to remind you and your family to take the proper precautions against a hidden danger in the outdoors: Lyme disease. �In Fairfax and Prince William Counties, we have over 200 cases reported annually. Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the U.S. today. In August of last year, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) announced a ten-fold increase in reported cases, from 30,000 new infections per year in the United States to a preliminary new estimate of 300,000. Cases have been reported in every state in the nation and in more than 63 countries�making it a worldwide problem. If not diagnosed and treated early, Lyme disease can lead to chronic illness and can affect every system in the body, including the central nervous and cardiac systems.� Later symptoms of Lyme disease may include arthritis, facial paralysis, encephalopathy, memory problems, and weakness of the extremities, seizures, heart problems, and even blindness.� Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks.� There are a number of ways to prevent tick bites such as using bug repellant with DEET, avoiding direct contact with ticks, wearing loose and light colored clothing. For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/lyme [link 1] and www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/westnile/lyme-disease.htm [link 2] Many people suffer longer and more severely than they might if Lyme disease testing, symptom identification, and treatments were more precise and better understood by the public, the medical community, and a variety of medical insurers.� Children between the ages of 5-14 are at the highest risk of acquiring Lyme disease, which, if not caught early enough, can cause them to miss long periods of school for treatment and recovery. Adults who are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or improperly treated may also have to miss long periods of work. To help those who suffer from Lyme disease and advance best practices for diagnosing and treating it, I have recently joined the new Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, a bipartisan effort to further educate Members of Congress about Lyme disease and to help ensure support for federal programs dedicated to prevention and effective treatments.� I am pleased to cosponsor legislation that will establish a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee to advise the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary at Health and Human Services (HSS) in coordinating research and advising federal agencies on priorities related to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.� I am also cosponsoring a companion bill that would further increase authorized funding for Lyme disease research.�� Additionally, since I�ve been in Congress I have supported continued funding for the National Institute of Health and research through the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control. We need a concerted effort to better understand this disease and continue helping those who suffer from it. Should you have any further questions or concerns about Lyme disease, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington office at 202-225-1492 or visit our website Connolly.house.gov. ����� Sincerely, [image = connolly.congressnewsletter.net/images/user_images/Connollysig.jpg] Gerald E. Connolly Member of Congress 11th District of Virginia
July 16, 2014

 

Dear Friend,

With the summer months upon us, I would like to remind you and your family to take the proper precautions against a hidden danger in the outdoors: Lyme disease.  In Fairfax and Prince William Counties, we have over 200 cases reported annually. Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the U.S. today. In August of last year, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) announced a ten-fold increase in reported cases, from 30,000 new infections per year in the United States to a preliminary new estimate of 300,000. Cases have been reported in every state in the nation and in more than 63 countries�making it a worldwide problem.

If not diagnosed and treated early, Lyme disease can lead to chronic illness and can affect every system in the body, including the central nervous and cardiac systems.  Later symptoms of Lyme disease may include arthritis, facial paralysis, encephalopathy, memory problems, and weakness of the extremities, seizures, heart problems, and even blindness. 

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks.  There are a number of ways to prevent tick bites such as using bug repellant with DEET, avoiding direct contact with ticks, wearing loose and light colored clothing. For more information, please visit Many people suffer longer and more severely than they might if Lyme disease testing, symptom identification, and treatments were more precise and better understood by the public, the medical community, and a variety of medical insurers.  Children between the ages of 5-14 are at the highest risk of acquiring Lyme disease, which, if not caught early enough, can cause them to miss long periods of school for treatment and recovery. Adults who are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or improperly treated may also have to miss long periods of work.

To help those who suffer from Lyme disease and advance best practices for diagnosing and treating it, I have recently joined the new Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, a bipartisan effort to further educate Members of Congress about Lyme disease and to help ensure support for federal programs dedicated to prevention and effective treatments.  I am pleased to cosponsor legislation that will establish a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee to advise the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary at Health and Human Services (HSS) in coordinating research and advising federal agencies on priorities related to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.  I am also cosponsoring a companion bill that would further increase authorized funding for Lyme disease research.   Additionally, since I�ve been in Congress I have supported continued funding for the National Institute of Health and research through the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control.

We need a concerted effort to better understand this disease and continue helping those who suffer from it. Should you have any further questions or concerns about Lyme disease, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington office at 202-225-1492 or visit our website Connolly.house.gov.      

Washington, DC Office
424 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1492
Fax: (202) 225-3071
Annandale Office
4115 Annandale Road, Ste. 103
Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: (703) 256-3071
Fax: (703) 354-1284
Prince William Office
4308 Ridgewood Center Dr.
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Phone: (703) 670-4989
Fax: (703) 670-6042