AFTER LEADING THE CHARGE, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES PASSAGE OF HIS SENATE AMENDMENT, INCREASING BY OVER 12% CDC FUNDING TO COMBAT LYME DISEASE; SCHUMER AMENDMENT IN UPCOMING HHS APPROPRIATIONS BILL SECURES FIRST INCREASE IN CDC LYME FUNDING IN YEARS; SENATOR SAYS YEARS-OVERDUE BOOST IN FUNDING WILL SUPPORT ALL-OUT STATE AND LOCAL WAR AGAINST TICK-BORNE ILLNESSES
In Recent Years, Upstate New York Has Seen An Explosion Of Ticks, Lyme Disease, And Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Making New York The #1 Target For Ticks In The Country
Schumer’s Recently-Passed Amendment To The Health And Human Services Appropriations Bill Will Increase By Over $1 Million CDC Funding To Thwart Tick-Borne Illnesses; Funding Boost Will Be Used To Study, Identify, And Prevent Exposure To Vector-Borne Pathogens That Cause Lyme Disease And Other Tick-Borne Illnesses
Schumer: Funding Increase For CDC To Fight Lyme Disease Will Help Protect Against Tick-Borne Illnesses
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the U.S. Senate has passed his amendment to the upcoming Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations bill to increase by 12.15 percent FY2019 funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Specifically, the bill increases Lyme disease funding from FY2018’s level of $10.7M to $12M for FY2019.
Schumer’s amendment secures the first increase in CDC Lyme disease funding in five years. Schumer said that this long-overdue increase in funding will be used to support the all-out state and local war against tick-borne diseases, as New York is the #1 target for tick-related disease in the United States. Schumer called the increase in funding a major victory for communities across Upstate New York and vowed to shepherd the funding through Congress and onto the president’s desk.
“Upstate New York has been feeling the brutal bite of Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses for years now, and thankfully this long-overdue increase in CDC funding will give us the resources we need to strike back,” said Senator Schumer. “New Yorkers and their children shouldn’t have to worry that spending time outside in their backyards will leave them with a debilitating ailment like Lyme disease, and this funding will help to prevent that. I’m proud to secure this crucial funding to combat the spread of tick-borne illnesses, and will now fight tooth and nail to see that it passes Congress and is signed into law.”
Schumer said that the increase in funding from the CDC will specifically be used to target vector-borne pathogens which cause diseases in human beings. The funding increase will help understand when, where, and how people become exposed to vector-borne pathogens, as well as help to prevent exposure to vector-borne pathogens and mitigate potential consequences of infection. Additionally, the funding will be used to help implement vector-borne disease diagnostics, surveillance, control, and prevention programs.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried by deer ticks, which can be transmitted by a bite to a human or animal host. If left untreated, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi travels through the bloodstream, manifests itself in body tissues, and causes mild or severe symptoms, depending on the case. Lyme disease begins as a rash at the location of the tick bite and then spreads to the nervous system and joints. Early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment are crucial to recovery. Appropriate antibiotic use in the early stages of Lyme disease typically results in a swift and total recovery. Untreated and undiagnosed Lyme disease – which regularly occurs – can lead to debilitating effects on a person’s health.
Senator Schumer has long fought for federal funding for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, which have seen a major spike in cases across New York State. Earlier in 2018, during an in-person meeting with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, Schumer received a firm commitment from the director that he would be working to address Lyme disease in New York State. Additionally, Schumer played an integral role in securing funding for the CDC in this year’s FY2018 omnibus spending bill — Schumer, one of 4 negotiators, secured $8.005 billion in the federal funding for the CDC, a $900 million increase from FY17. Schumer also helped secure a historic $3 billion increase in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, which can be used to expand and build upon existing NIH-funded Lyme disease research that is already occurring at New York institutions, such as Stony Brook, Columbia University, in the SUNY system and at Hunter College. Schumer has traveled throughout New York State advocating for increased funding to fight tick-borne illnesses, and will continue to advocate for these funds for New Yorkers.