New York, NY: A report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Lyme disease strikes 300,000 people each year, affecting 10 times more victims than previously reported. In response to this alarming news, the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, calls on government officials to allocate the critical resources needed for research and to focus on the development of a 100% reliable diagnostic tool for these devastating diseases.
“The new CDC report confirms what the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance and others have been saying for years – that tick-borne diseases are a national health epidemic and that we need more government research to fight these lethal illnesses,” said David Roth, co-chair of TBDA and managing director at the Blackstone Real Estate Group. “Furthermore, given the methodology the CDC used to determine its report of 300,000 new cases annually, it is likely that the actual number is much higher. In addition, the estimate fails to include those infected with other tick-borne illnesses, such as miyamotoi, babesiosis and the Powassan virus, which can also cause debilitating symptoms, and in some cases death.”
“Everyone is at risk of contracting tick-borne diseases, and it’s important that mainstream America understands that tick-borne diseases are a serious threat to us all. Currently, there is no fully reliable diagnostic test for tick-borne diseases. So those infected often spend months, and in many cases years, searching to find the cause of their illness. Some never find out; they just continue to suffer,” Roth added. “Whether we want to face it or not, we live in a society with a healthcare system that lacks both reliable diagnostics for tick-borne diseases and therapeutics that work for those whom the typically prescribed course of antibiotics fails. In short, the medical community is failing us, all of us, no matter where we live, what we do or how old we are.”
This summer TBDA launched Bite Back for a Cure, a national grassroots campaign to raise awareness about and support for the fight against tick-borne diseases. Bite Back for a Cure has two elements – an online campaign and a national bike ride. This summer and fall, 24-year-old Lyme-sufferer John Donnally is biking across America to meet others affected by Lyme disease and galvanize local support to fund research and educate the public about the silent epidemic of tick-borne diseases. Bite Back’s online campaign will accumulate testimonials from those affected by tick-borne diseases. This “video quilt” will be sent to state and federal legislators, urging them to support Lyme-disease legislation. To learn more about how you can get involved in Bite Back for a Cure, visit BiteBackForACure.org
For more information about the threat of tick-borne diseases and what you can do to help build awareness about the health crisis posed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit TBDAlliance.org