AP NEWS

Collins bill to combat Lyme and other tick diseases moves on

November 3, 2019

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A U.S. Senate committee is advancing a proposal from Sen. Susan Collins to improve research about Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

Collins, a Republican, introduced the proposal with Democratic Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith. It’s also designed to beef up prevention, diagnostics and treatment for tick-borne diseases, and it’s headed to the full Senate next.

The proposal’s named the Kay Hagan Tick Act in honor of former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina who died in October of complications from Powassan virus, a tick-borne infection.

Cases of Lyme disease nearly doubled in Maine from 2010 to 2018. Collins describes the surge of tick-borne diseases as a “burgeoning public health crisis.”

The proposal would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy about the diseases.