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Bipartisan Bill Cosponsored by Senator Hassan to Combat Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases Included in Government Funding Agreement

New Hampshire Has One of the Nation’s Highest Rates of Lyme Disease

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Kay Hagan TICK Act, cosponsored by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), to improve research, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment for tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, was included in the year-end agreement to fund the government for the next fiscal year. The bipartisan Kay Hagan TICK Act was authored by Senators Susan Collin (R-ME) and Tina Smith (D-MN), and is named for the former North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, who recently succumbed to the tick-borne disease encephalitis.

“By including the Kay Hagan TICK Act in the final budget agreement, Congress has taken an important step in helping reduce the odds that a hike in the White Mountains or a trip to the lake could turn deadly because of a tick-borne disease,” Senator Hassan said. “I urge the President to sign this measure into law without delay so that we can immediately implement life-saving services to protect Granite Staters from Lyme disease and treat those who contract it.”

Over the past decade, cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases have risen exponentially, from approximately 30,000 in 2003 to an estimated 450,000 last year. In 2017, there were 1,381 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in New Hampshire according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to the physical and emotional toll that Lyme disease takes, it is also expensive: Medical costs of Lyme disease are estimated at $1.3 billion per year. When accounting for indirect medical costs, including loss of work, the annual costs balloon to $75 billion per year.