Proposal for Lyme prevention included in appropriations deal
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican senator is proposing a law change that she believes will help improve prevention of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.
Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota announced on Dec. 16 that legislation they wrote to improve research, prevention, diagnostics and treatment for the diseases has been included in the federal appropriations agreement.
The senators are calling the proposal the Kay Hagan Tick Act, after former Sen. Kay Hagan, who died in October due to complications suffered from Powassan virus. Powassan, like Lyme, is a tick-borne infection.
The proposal would make several changes, such as requiring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy to combat the diseases. It would also authorize the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide $20 million in grants per year to state health departments to improve data collection and make others changes.
The appropriations agreement was headed to President Donald Trump for signature late Thursday.