Potential for tick-borne illness increases after warm winter

May 23, 2012

Researchers are warning of a higher concentration of ticks this summer and thus more potential for tick-borne illnesses – like Lyme disease.

That’s because more ticks survived the warmer winter.

As a result, Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legislation that would increase education and research.

According to the New York Department of Health, there were more than 50,000 cases of tick-borne illnesses in the Hudson Valley and Capital Regions over the past decade. The numbers drop off significantly in central and western New York.

Schumer hopes the legislation will help curb new cases.

“This is a serious illness. Anyone who’s had a friend or family who has this knows how serious it is and we have to do something about it. This bill has a good chance of passing,” Schumer said.

Schumer is one of 10 co-sponsors of the bill. He says three of those are Republicans.

The legislation was written last year but is being introduced now so it can go before the right funding committees.

It would be paid for with health appropriations.