Reps. Katko, Maloney unveil bill to fight tick-borne diseases in New York

U.S. Reps. John Katko and Sean Patrick Maloney announced bipartisan legislation that would increase tick-borne illness prevention efforts and improve public health in states like New York that are seeing a high rate of tick-born diseases, Katko’s office announced Friday afternoon.

The Tick Identification Pilot Program Act of 2017 would help educate the general public on tick-bite prevention methods, engage the public on tick-borne illnesses and collect data on tick populations and where they are most encountered and during what time of year. The legislation is meant to establish a grant program under the CDC which allows states to apply for grants to establish tick identification programs. Those types of programs would allow people to send pictures of ticks they encounter to a biologist who would identify the tick and provide vital information about that specific tick to the sender.

“With steady increases in cases of tick-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease and Powassan, in Central and Upstate New York, it is critical that we work to move the ball forward on public health efforts to combat these diseases,” said Rep. Katko, R-Camillus. “The bipartisan legislation that I’ve introduced with Rep. Maloney will strengthen tick prevention efforts both through education and research.”

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