R 431
2015 -- S 1030
Enacted 06/25/2015

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Sheehan, Sosnowski, Miller, Ottiano, and Algiere
Date Introduced: June 25, 2015

     WHEREAS, Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by tick bites. According to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the most commonly reported illness resulting
from an insect bite in the United States. In 2013, it was the fifth most common Nationally
Notifiable disease. However, this disease does not occur nationwide and is concentrated heavily
in the Northeast and upper Midwest; and
     WHEREAS, The threat of Lyme disease is serious and growing and has become an
important public health problem; and
     WHEREAS, Lyme disease is a major concern among Rhode Islanders, who are six to
eight times more likely to contract the disease compared to the national average. Due to the lack
of predators, there is an overpopulation of deer in Rhode Island, which are host species for ticks;
     WHEREAS, Children between the ages of five to nine are the most likely to get Lyme
disease in Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, The Center for Disease Control has recently estimated that for every known
case of Lyme disease, there are about nine unreported cases; and
     WHEREAS, The chronic health conditions diagnosed as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue
and autoimmune diseases share many similar symptoms with Lyme disease. The correct
diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease is essential to help a patient recover without a lifetime of
medications and suffering; and
     WHEREAS, The Department of Health is charged with the prevention and control of
disease that is harmful to the public health and with providing advice to the General Assembly on
matters related to public health; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby respectfully requests that the Rhode Island Department of Health report to the Senate
President and the Chairs of the Senate Committees on Environment and Agriculture, Health and
Human Services, and Government Oversight by January 31, 2016, on the following: (1) An
overview of the current levels of Lyme disease in Rhode Island; (2) The response of the medical
community in treating the disease; (3) An analysis of best practices in the treatment of the
disease; (4) Identifying any gaps in coverage or insurance protocols that affect access to
comprehensive and adequate treatment; and (5) The department’s current and long-term goals and
strategies to address the high incidence of the disease in the state; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Gina Raimondo, Governor of the
State of Rhode Island, and the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Nicole
Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.