SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — An Illinois House Republican believes state lawmakers should recognize May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) has long been an advocate for Lyme Disease research and filed a resolution to help educate people about how to protect themselves.
Swanson told the House Health Care Licenses Committee Wednesday that 35% of deer ticks tested in Illinois test positive for Lyme Disease. He also noted that 66% of the ticks in Winnebago County are carriers for the disease.
The Illinois State Medical Society is now helping doctors know how to properly diagnose and care for people with Lyme.
“60% of the acute cases of Lyme Disease are actually misdiagnosed,” Swanson said. “MS, arthritis, ALS, and others are some of the common misdiagnosed carriers and diseases.”
Swanson hopes lawmakers can also include more funding for Lyme Disease prevention in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The state appropriates $150,000 for nonprofit organization education efforts. Swanson noted that the Illinois Lyme Association is just one of the nonprofits frequently applying for that money.
“We continue to encourage the Illinois Department of Public Health to put more money towards Lyme Disease in each one of our counties,” Swanson explained. “Unfortunately, it’s a very small percentage of what is needed.”
The House Health Care Licenses Committee unanimously adopted the resolution. It now heads to the House floor for further consideration.
“I know that this is a serious condition and a mysterious condition, which makes it all the more complicated to address,” said Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin). “It hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves.”
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May 3, 2023 at 06:51PM