May 17, 2013
The Virginia legislature has proclaimed May “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.” For several years, Governor Bob McDonnell has made the fight against Lyme disease a priority. This year, he supported and signed The Lyme DiseaseTesting Information Disclosure Act of 2013, a major milestone in the fight against Lyme disease. Virginia is now the first state to require health care providers to notify anyone tested for Lyme that current laboratory testing can produce false negatives, especially in the early stage of the disease. To commemorate May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Governor McDonnell lit up the Governor’s Mansion in lime green last night, May 16th.
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In concert with the lime green lighting, Virginia’s First Lady placed a large lime green bow at the entrance of the Governor’s residence. The bow was given to the residence by the National Capital Lyme Disease Association, a Virginia 501(c)(3), to further its campaign of public awareness of this serious disease and its related co-infections.
As a gesture of its appreciation, the National Capital Lyme Disease Association sent green bows to all of the State Senators and Delegates who spoke out in support of The Lyme DiseaseTesting Information Disclosure Act of 2013. These dignitaries included: Delegates Barbara Comstock (34th), Thomas Rust (86th), James Edmunds (60th), Timothy Hugo (40th), Mark Keam (35th), Robert Marshall (13th), Randall Minchew (10th), David Ramadan (87th), and Senators Richard Black (13th), Janet Howell (32nd), Thomas Garrett (22nd), Stephen Martin (11th) and Jill Holtzman Vogel (27th).
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. The Virginia Department of Health reports that there were an estimated 1,110 cases of Lyme disease in the state in 2012, up 9% from 2011. Cases were reported in all regions of the state.
The National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) is an organization with over 3,000 members, including fifteen chapters throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and North Carolina.
Daytime, the Governors mansion sports a Green Bow in recognition of Lyme Disease Awareness Month: