Until 30 years ago, Lyme disease was very rare. Nowadays the situation is different. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are registered every year in the US. Humans get infected with the virus from ticks. These insects get the Lyme disease from animals, such as mice which are the hosts of the disease.
Lyme disease can lead to a variety of health conditions including memory loss, facial paralysis, arthritis and brain inflammation.
According to Dr. Janakiram Seshu, lead author of the UTSA study and associate professor of biology, the key to tackling the Lyme disease might be an enzyme found in statins. In other words, there might be a way to treat this disease by using statins medication designed to lower cholesterol.
Nevertheless, further research is needed to find the best way to block the pathogen. Until then, education regarding Lyme disease is crucial in order to prevent future casualties. New York Senate passed this Thursday legislation that would prompt the state Education Department to provide educational tools and teaching materials on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases for children and students.
Plus, the materials will be free of charge. According to Senator Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, Dutchess County, children are most vulnerable to these ticks because they do not know how to identify one. Therefore, their parents should be aware of the risks.
Officials from the departments of environmental conservation and health would be required by the bill to support the Education Department in developing materials and curriculum for students to encourage and educate them about the risks of ticks and how to prevent getting the Lyme disease.
Unfortunately, Dutchess County has the highest percentage of tick-borne illnesses in the state, and the Hudson Valley has one of the highest rates in the US. Plus, Columbia and Ulster counties are situated first and second for the most Lyme victims per capita in the nation.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Didi Barrett, Assemblywoman, D-Hudson, Columbia County, the measure passed the Senate and also the Assembly last month. According to her, it is vital to inform people as much as possible regarding the Lyme disease and another tick-borne diseases to tackle this destructive epidemic.
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