Anyone who owns a dog or works in their garden knows that ticks are becoming an even bigger problem than they’ve been in past years on the East End of Long Island. It seems you can’t go outside without encountering the pesky things. Thankfully, Senator Ken LaValle has successfully secured $150,000 in New York State funding that will go towards a more aggressive fight against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases in our area. Senator LaValle serves as co-chair of the NY Senate Coalition Task Force on Lyme and tick-borne diseases, which has deemed this issue a public health concern. LaValle got these operating funds for both Shelter Island and North Haven’s four-poster deer tick programs.
“With the high incidence of these tick-borne illnesses on the East End, we need to work to eradicate the diseases and end the transmission to individuals,” said Senator LaValle. “I am hopeful that these two pilot programs will be successful. I look forward to working with the Town and Village to monitor these initiatives and the results so we can better develop a long-term effective tick management strategy.”
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. also believes the increase in people affected by the disease is cause for concern. “The extent and severity of the Lyme disease cases on the East End has escalated to the point of a public health crisis. Senator LaValle and I have been working closely with our municipalities to find the most appropriate management strategies,” noted Assemblyman Thiele. “This funding will allow North Haven and Shelter Island to expand highly successful four-poster programs.”
The Task Force was successful in acquiring funding in this year’s state budget, from which the $150,000 was appropriated. The Task Force delivered a report in June that focuses on better developing methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment protocols for tick-borne diseases. The other tick-borne diseases besides Lyme include babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
For the Task Force report or more information about tick-borne diseases, visit www.nysenate.gov.