Resolution J837-2013

Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2013, as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the State of New York



  • Mar 14, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Mar 12, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE   RESOLUTION  memorializing  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to
proclaim May 2013, as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the State  of  New

WHEREAS,  The  health and well-being of the citizens of the State of New
York is of paramount importance to this Legislative Body; and
  WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is a common but frequently misunderstood illness
that, if not caught early and treated properly, can cause serious health
problems; and
  WHEREAS, According to the federal  Centers  for  Disease  Control  and
Prevention  (CDC)  and  the  New  York  State Department of Health, Lyme
Disease was identified and named in 1977, when arthritis was observed in
a cluster of children in and around Lyme, Connecticut; and
  WHEREAS, The Council of State and Territorial  Epidemiologists  (CSTE)
designated  Lyme  Disease  as a nationally notifiable disease in January
1991; and
  WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease  in  the
United  States; it is caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia Burg-
dorferi, which is transmitted to the human bloodstream by  the  bite  of
various species of ticks; and
  WHEREAS,  Children aged 5 to 9 and adults in their 50s and 60s experi-
ence the highest occurrence of Lyme Disease; and
  WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can cause early symptoms such as rash  and  flu-
like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue; and
  WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics if caught early;
the  disease  often goes undetected because it mimics other illnesses or
may be misdiagnosed; untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to  severe  heart,
neurological,  eye,  and  joint problems because the bacteria can affect
many different organs and organ systems; and
  WHEREAS, The best protection against Lyme Disease is to wear light-co-
lored clothing when outdoors and to check one's self carefully for ticks
when going back inside; and
  WHEREAS, During 2008, a total of 35,198 cases  of  Lyme  Disease  were
reported  in  the United States, a 28 percent increase over the previous
year; the CDC indicates that the actual number of reported cases of Lyme
Disease that meet the CDC criteria is  10  times  the  amount  reported,
bringing  the  actual  number  of  cases  that  meet the CDC criteria to
351,980 for 2008; and
  WHEREAS, The incidence of Lyme Disease is greatest in  the  northeast-
ern, mid-Atlantic, and north central regions of the United States; and
  WHEREAS, Due to the large population of deer for ticks to feed on, the
occurrence of Lyme Disease in New York State is high; from 1990 to 2008,
New  York had the highest number of total reported cases of Lyme Disease
in the United States, 48 percent higher than Connecticut, the state with
the second-highest number of total reported cases; and
  WHEREAS, Lyme Disease accounts for  90  percent  of  all  vector-borne
infections in the United States; the ticks that spread Lyme Disease also
spread  other  diseases,  such  as  ehrlichiosis,  babesiosis, and other
strains of Borrelia; all of these diseases in one patient makes  diagno-
sis and treatment more difficult; and
  WHEREAS, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates
that  the Lyme Disease reported cases were only 10% of actual cases that
meet its surveillance criteria; and
  WHEREAS, According to the Cary Institute  of  Ecosystem  Studies,  the
northeastern United States should prepare for a surge in Lyme disease in
the  spring of 2012; this surge is in direct correlation to fluctuations
in acorns and mouse populations, not the mild winter; and

  WHEREAS, Acorn crops vary from year-to-year, with boom-and-bust cycles
influencing the winter survival and  breeding  success  of  white-footed
mice; these small mammals pack a one-two punch; they are preferred hosts
for  black-legged  ticks and are very effective at transmitting Borrelia
burgdorferi; and
  WHEREAS,  Essentially,  there was a boom in acorns, followed by a boom
in mice; now, on the heels of one of the smallest acorn crops  to  date,
the  mouse population is crashing; the scarcity of acorns in the fall of
2011 set up a perfect storm for human Lyme disease risk; and
  WHEREAS, Subsequently, during the spring of 2012, there will be a  lot
of  Borrelia  burgdorferi-infected  black-legged  ticks  in  the forests
throughout the State of New York looking for a blood  meal;  instead  of
finding  a  white-footed mouse, the tiny black-legged ticks, as small as
poppy seeds, are going to find other mammals,  and  unfortunately,  that
mammal will be a human being; and
  WHEREAS,  Lyme  Disease Month provides an opportunity to focus on this
significant and complex disease, to provide  information  on  and  raise
public  awareness  of  its causes, effects and treatments, and to under-
score important education and  research  efforts  surrounding  Lyme  and
tick-borne diseases; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  to  proclaim  May  2013,  as  Lyme
Disease Awareness Month in the State of New York; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted  to  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


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