April 07, 2020
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Susan Collins’ bill to combat tick-borne diseases moves on

Victoria Arocho | AP
Victoria Arocho | AP
This March 2002 file photo shows a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

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 described 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.

 


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