Sent to Health and Wellness Committee prior to Mar 18 Hearing (see related posts)
Dear Health and Wellness Committee,
Please support Lyme Bill SB 5448 Recognizing Chronic Lyme disease. I am a former Washington resident with numerous family members still residing in Washington and I travel to Washington for medical care. I am a professional federal biologist who contracted Lyme disease through a tick bite in the course of my fieldwork in Montana in 2010. Despite several acute symptoms, a bulls-eye rash, and the onset of Bell’s palsy within weeks of the tick bite, I was misdiagnosed for three years. This delay in treatment meant that several months of antibiotics, combined with other therapies, were needed to begin meaningful recovery.
Current testing and diagnostic shortcomings are missing hundreds of thousands of cases of Lyme Disease in the United States annually. Diagnosis and treatment are further complicated by poorly understood and/or poorly acknowledged factors, such as the presence of coinfections (parasites, Bartonella, and Babesia, to name but a few). Doctors need the education and procedural freedom to properly diagnose and treat patients, understanding that length of infection and a multitude of additional factors increases the complexity of the illness and the duration and complexity effective treatment (which requires more therapeutic options than antibiotics). Short course antibiotics are not adequate for persistent, Chronic or long-term infection and do not address coinfections, nor other factors critical for recovery.
You can help current and future patients regain their health more effectively, with lesser costs to families and communities, by supporting this legislation. My extended family still resides in Washington as do dozens of other friends and loved ones, almost all of whom recreate in the outdoors avidly. Please consider this information for residents and patients. Recovery should not be impeded by arbitrary limitations.