Pressing on to fight Lyme disease in the Finger Lakes

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show state and local health departments reporting more cases than ever of tick-borne diseases, including Lyme. But this year’s state budget didn’t include $1 million on the state Senate wish list — passed in its “one-house budget.” Some senators had asked for even more.

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, who works with local advocates such as the Ontario County Lyme Disease Support Group, sought $2 million to take action on a series of bills.

“Lyme and other tick-borne diseases continue to be on the rise, and I have been working hard to secure important funding and resources for our communities affected by this growing public health issue,” stated Helming, who advocated for the $1 million in last year’s budget that went for education and research. A former member of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, Helming added “we must do more.”

“Lyme and other tick-borne diseases impact thousands of individuals and families across our region. We have to continue to fight for resources for our communities — including children, who are at the highest risk of Lyme disease exposure, as well as our hardworking farmers whose livelihoods depend on working outside all day.”

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