Just before the new year began, a spending bill was passed that will give more funding to Lyme treatment centers and other vector-borne illnesses. It’s called the Kay Hagan TICK Act, named after the former senator, Kay Hagan, who recently passed away from the Powassan virus. As a result, the bill will provide $150 million for several different Lyme and other vector-borne disease related projects and activities. Take a look below to see how this new bill will help improve the government’s response to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
What is a Vector-Borne Disease?
A vector-borne disease is an illness that is contracted by a vector, such as mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. These insects can carry harmful pathogens that are transferred from one host to another, infecting the new host with a dangerous virus, bacteria, or protozoa. Once infected, the new host may face serious complications and symptoms. Fortunately, the improved funding for Lyme treatment centers will help create better solutions and treatment plans for those infected with a vector-borne disease.
How the New Bill Intends to Help with Vector-Borne Diseases
The bill will use a three-pronged approach which requires the TICK Act to do three key things:
#1 Create a National Strategy
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be required to develop a National Strategy in dealing with vector-borne diseases such as Lyme. The National Strategy will help with the improvement of testing and treatment, and broaden research opportunities. Along with this, the strategy will work to provide support to various federal agencies, such as the USDA and EPA, to bring together common efforts to develop effective solutions for tick-borne illnesses.
#2 Extend Funding for Regional Centers of Excellence
The Regional Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease have been at the forefront of the scientific reaction to vector-borne diseases. Fortunately with the new spending bill, these centers have been reauthorized to receive $10 million per year for an additional 5 years. Their funding was first awarded to them in 2017 and will expire in 2021. However, the TICK Act fights to keep funding alive for these centers as they diligently work to respond against tick-borne diseases which account for 75% of all vector-borne diseases in the United States.
#3 Approve CDC Grants
State health departments will be given $20 million a year which will be used to help gather data collection and analysis, support early detection and diagnosis, provide better treatment opportunities, and raise awareness for these diseases. The goal of this aspect of the bill is to help provide states with a public health infrastructure that focuses primarily on Lyme and other vector-borne disease. Also, the TICK Act will augment their actions by using public-private partnerships to get closer to reaching their goal.
Lyme Treatment Centers – Sierra Integrative Medical Center
The Kay Hagan TICK Act will bring more resources and knowledge to vector-borne diseases and aims to devise a National Strategy that will help those with such illnesses. Now, Lyme treatment centers will get the assistance they need to help combat tick-borne diseases. Remember, your health should be your number one priority and struggling with unknown ailments can really affect your quality of life. That’s why Sierra Integrative works so hard to ensure that our treatment methods will work for you. Because we believe in having a healthy mind, body and spirit that allows you to live an overall healthy life. So, break free from your limitations and contact us today! We’ll get you started on a treatment plan that will let you live your life to the fullest.