GreenburghTown Supervisor Paul Feiner joined Senator Charles Schumer at a press conference on September 10th at Harts Brook Nature Preserve in Hartsdale to focus attention on the lyme disease epidemic. Lyme Disease is found in 49 states. The HUDSONVALLEYHAS THE HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF LYME DISEASE IN THE NATION. The reported cases in Westchesterand Rocklandhasnearly doubled (340 to 624 in Westchesterfrom 2002 to 2003) Senator Schumer unveiled a 3 point plan:
*$10 million in additional funding for lyme disease research and prevention. Senator Schumer indicated that lyme disease receives a small fraction of CDC and NIH funding. Increased funding would be used to fund several initiatives including the development of a test to determine who is infected; research into expanded treatment options; investigation into ways to identify habitats of greatest risk; broader prevention strategies including biological and chemical controls to halt the spread of the tick.
*A new federal Tick Borne Disorders Advisory Committee (S 1527) within the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee would serve to monitor trends in the spreading of Lyme Disease and coordinate local and national efforts to combat the disease.
David Weld, brother of the former Massachusetts Governor and executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation was also at the news conference. He indicated that NY State is the only state in the Nation that has not signed on to the 4 poster deer treatment bait station. The 4 poster device is designed to kill species of ticks that feed on white tailed deer and especially those for which white tailed deer are keystone hosts for adult ticks. Studies have shown that use of the 4 poster technology has resulted in the control of 92 to 98% of free living tick populations in areas around the devices after 3 years of use. Feiner said that he will be lobbying the state to provide NY residents with access to this anti tick device.