2007 -- H 6346

Enacted 05/01/07



H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N




     Introduced By: Representatives Winfield, Kennedy, Fox, Watson, and D Caprio

     Date Introduced: May 01, 2007


     WHEREAS, The health and well-being of the citizens of this state are of paramount

importance to this Legislative Body; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is a common but frequently misunderstood illness that, if not

caught early and treated properly, can cause serious health problems; and

     WHEREAS, According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme

Disease was identified and named in 1977, when arthritis was observed in a cluster of children in

and around Lyme, Connecticut; and

     WHEREAS, The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) designated

Lyme Disease as a nationally notifiable disease in January 1991; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United

States; it is caused by the spirochete borrelia burgdorferi, which is usually transmitted by the bite

of a tick; and

     WHEREAS, Age groups at the highest risk include children aged five to nine and adults

in their 50's and 60's; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can cause early symptoms such as rash, and flu-like

symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics if caught early, the disease

often goes undetected because it mimics other illnesses and may be misdiagnosed. Untreated,

Lyme Disease can lead to sever heart, neurological, eye, and joint problems because the bacteria

can affect many different organs and organ systems; and

     WHEREAS, The best protection against Lyme Disease is to wear light-colored clothing

with pants tucked into socks when outdoors and to check one's self carefully for ticks when going

back inside; and

     WHEREAS, During 2005, a total of 23,305 cases of Lyme Disease were reported in the

United States, a 15% increase over the previous year; the CDC indicates that the actual number of

reported cases of Lyme Disease that meet the CDC criteria is 10 times the amount reported,

bringing the actual number of cases that meet the CDC criteria to 233,350 for 2005; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease accounts for 95% of all vector-borne infections in the United

States, and the ticks that spread Lyme Disease also spread other diseases, such as ehrlichiosis,

(anaplasmosis), and babesiosis. The presence of other tick-borne diseases cloud the diagnostic

and treatment picture; and

     WHEREAS, Lyme Disease month provides an opportunity to focus on this significant

and complex disease, to provide information on and raise public awareness of its causes, effects

and treatments, and to underscore important education and research efforts surrounding Lyme and

tick-borne diseases; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby proclaims May, 2007 as "Lyme Disease Awareness Month" in the

State of Rhode Island; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Lyme Disease Association, Rhode Island