House Health Committee send directive to Department of
The Vermont Lyme Action Committee, an ad-hoc group of advocates
supporting the need for recognition and treatment of Chronic Lyme
and associated tick-borne diseases, congratulates the House Health
Committee for the letter they sent to the Vermont Department of
Health on May 8, 2013.
"Chronic Lyme has been controversial for years," member John
Bauer said. "I think this is an important step toward providing
adequate treatment for Vermonters."
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a spirochete (say
"SPY-ROH-KEET") that humans can get from the bite of an infected
deer tick. The spirochete's scientific name is Borrelia
burgdorferi. Lyme disease is called "The Great Imitator" because
its symptoms mimic many other diseases. It can affect any organ of
the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and
joints, and the heart.
People usually get Lyme disease from ticks infected with Lyme
spirochetes. Most human cases are caused by the nymphal, or
immature, form of the tick. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy
seed. Because their bite is painless, many people do not realize
they have been bitten. Vermont has the second highest rate of Lyme
Disease per capita in the United States. These ticks are now
inhabiting our play grounds, soccer fields, lawns, hiking trails,
fields and gardens - carried often by our pets, common rodents,
deer, and farm animals.
"The state of Vermont has been behind other states in the
recognition and advanced treatment of Chronic Lyme and other
tick-borne diseases. Too many Vermonters have suffered greatly
because of this. But with the help of our legislators and this most
recent letter to the VT Dept. of Health, it is a great beginning in
moving towards an environment of acknowledging current research,
advanced protocols, and training in the field of Chronic Lyme and
tick borne disease," said member Pat Bannerman.
"I am encouraged that the medical community will have
opportunities to gain education about the testing, diagnosis and
various treatment modalities for Lyme and other Tick Borne
Diseases. My hope is that the medical community will take advantage
of these opportunities in order to better serve the population of
Vermont in respect to this life altering and epidemic disease,"
said member Pam Griffin-Tierney.
In the past year the Vermont Lyme Action Committee proposed a
Bill in the House and Senate to protect physicians in Vermont who
choose to diagnose and treat outside the prevailing standard of
care in this state from retribution and possible loss of medical
As a result of the Bill hearings were held by the joint House
and Senate Health Committees. During the hearings testimony was
given by Vermonters about the impact of Chronic Lyme on themselves
or loved ones and their frustration getting effective treatment in
Vermont. Richard Horowitz M.D. and Daniel Cameron M.D. both
well known and respected Lyme specialists from New York
testified about diagnosis, treatment protocols and the
associated science. VLAC provided both committees with written
personal stories and scientific, evidence based information
supporting needed changes in the diagnosis and effective treatment
for Chronic Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
The Vermont Lyme Action Committee has been persistet with their
on-going presence at the House Health Care Committee discussions
and has contributed to this first formal step in educating the
physicians and the public as well as getting effective treatment
For additional information: www.vermontlyme.com