The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NY State Capitol Building
Albany NY 12224
“Dear Governor Cuomo:
I am writing to request that you please sign the Lyme disease bill S07854/ A07558B that passed both the NY Assembly and Senate this summer. It’s imperative that this bill passes–with no amendments–because I and too many others are sick and unable to get proper treatment, which is destroying our lives. I’m including some quick facts about this debilitating illness that will be of interest to you. I cannot stress enough how important it is to me and countless others that you sign this bill so that we can get proper treatment before it’s too late.
LYME QUICK FACTS
- According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the United States.
- The number of cases reported annually has increased nearly 25-fold since national surveillance began in 1982.
- There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia Burgdorferi, over 100 strains in the US, and 300 strains worldwide. We currently test for only one.
- This diversity is thought to contribute to its ability to evade the immune system and antibiotic therapy, leading to chronic infection
- CDC reports that Lyme disease infects 300,000 people in the U.S. yer year, which is 10 times more Americans than previously reported. However, CDC also reports that only about 30,000 of these cases are reported annually, meaning that a whole of cases are going unreported and likely UNDIAGNOSED.
This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States according to Dr. Paul Mead, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for CDC’s Lyme disease program.
CDC estimates, new Lyme disease cases in US:
- Cases per month: 25,000
- Cases per week: 5,770
- Cases per day: 822
- Cases per hour: 34
- There are no tests available to prove that the organism is eradicated or that the patient is cured.
- Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite.
- Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall any rash.
- The common ELISA test you receive at your doctor’s office misses at least 35% of culture-proven Lyme disease. Some studies indicate up to 50% of the patients tested for Lyme disease receive false-negative results.
- Up to 50% of ticks in Lyme-endemic areas are infected.
- The onset of Lyme disease symptoms can be easily mistaken for other illnesses. Once symptoms are more evident, the disease may have already entered the central nervous system and becomes exceedingly difficult to treat.
- Lyme patients have a poorer quality of life than patients with Diabetes or heart conditions. 40% of Lyme patients end up with long-term health conditions.
- The average patient sees 5 doctors over nearly 2 years before being diagnosed.
- Short treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate, especially if treatment is delayed.
- There has never been a study demonstrating that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures chronic Lyme disease. However, there is much documentation demonstrating that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete.
I hope this has convinced you to sign the bill with no amendments as soon as possible. People are dying while waiting for care.
(If you’d like, you can also include your personal story).