Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Health Committee, announced that the government funding bill that was recently signed into law included historic funding to strengthen research, prevention, and treatment efforts for tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. As the author of the Kay Hagan Tick Act, Senator Collins has prioritized investments in research to address this major public health issue.
“Lyme disease was identified more than 40 years ago, yet there is still no gold standard for treatment. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Mainers contract Lyme and other serious tick-borne illnesses, underscoring the urgency to address this burgeoning public health threat,” said Senator Collins. “As the author of the Tick Act, I am committed to implementing the national strategy our law creates to slow the spread of these diseases. This funding will spur much-needed research and programs that will help protect Mainers’ health.”
The incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases has exploded over the past two decades. In 2003, Lyme disease infected around 30,000 Americans. The latest estimates show that nearly half a million Americans are diagnosed with Lyme annually. Other tick-borne diseases are also on the rise – in Maine, for example, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis have increased several-fold.
The government funding law provides:
- $54.6 million for CDC vector-borne disease programs, a $12 million increase, and $20.5 million to support implementation of the Kay Hagan Tick Act, a $4.5 million increase.
- $114 million for NIH Lyme and tick-borne disease research, an $18 million increase.
Read More: $114 Million for Lyme and Tick-Borne Dis…