Washington, DC –Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and a bipartisan group of her House colleagues have written Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Eric Hargan, to follow up on report language for Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations regarding Lyme disease and improve the measurement and tracking of the progress of federal efforts to combat the disease.

“Unfortunately, the northeast is the epicenter of the Lyme Disease epidemic with over 90 percent of confirmed Lyme disease cases being reported from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This letter is aimed to create specific, measurable objectives to track progress as we combat Lyme Disease. I will continue to work in Congress to support Lyme Disease research and education. The more we know about Lyme, the more we can do to treat patients and educate families to stop the spread of this debilitating disease.”

The letter sent by Congresswoman Stefanik and her colleagues outlines the performance measures for Lyme disease as Congress considers funding levels to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC).

Performance Indicators:

  • Decrease the incidence of Lyme disease in the United States.
  • Reduce the average time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of Lyme disease.
  • Increase the number of tests performed for Lyme disease that can confirm the presence of infection.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Increase collaboration between HHS agencies and state and local health departments to prevent and control tick-borne diseases.
  • Promote the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments for tick-borne diseases and co-infections.
  • Increase research aimed at controlling or reducing the population of ticks and reducing their ability to transmit disease.
  • Increase research on methods of prevention for stopping the transmission of tick-borne diseases to host reservoir animals and humans.
  • Promote personal protection methods to prevent tick-borne diseases.