With summer fast approaching and people spending more time outdoors, it is important for everyone to learn about and take precautions against tick-borne diseases.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s has once again proclaimed May as Lyme Disease Awarenes Month in the County of Fairfax. The National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) is grateful to Supervisor Pat Herrity and the Board of Supervisors for its continued commitment to raise awareness about and Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
For the last eleven years, Supervisor Herrity has been a leading partner to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association in the effort to bring awareness to Lyme Disease. In 2009, Supervisor Herrity hosted the first Lyme disease town hall with over 350 people in attendance, bringing Lyme awareness and prevention to the forefront of our community. In 2013, he supported a pilot program to reduce ticks spreading through our deer population. Since then, he has been an annual sponsor of the Lyme Disease Awareness Proclamation along with an annual motion to make sure County staff are educated on Lyme protection and prevention.
In addition to internal tick training for the County, Supervisor Herrity has worked with health department staff to educate our community doctors on detecting Lyme disease and the short comings of the test to detect the pathogen in humans. In 2015, Supervisor Herrity continued to support Lyme detection research as he recognized former Thomas Jefferson graduate, Temple Douglas, for her effort with George Mason University in developing a more accurate Lyme disease detection test. Supervisor Herrity is a dedicated partner in the effort to raise awareness of Lyme disease, whether it be supporting educational initiatives for our children, sharing prevention materials at his annual summer concert series, or attending educational conferences like the LymeX Roundtable event last week hosted by HHS.
According to NatCapLyme’s Executive Director, Monte Skall “This proclamation is of great benefit to the citizens of Fairfax County. This measure creates official recognition of the problem, encourages Virginians to learn about these diseases, to treat tick-borne diseases seriously, to take aggressive prevention measures and to seek early treatment”. With close to 475,000 cases of Lyme disease being reported annually the disease is presently regarded by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the fastest spreading vector-borne infectious disease in the United States. Lyme disease, if not treated early and appropiately, can develop into a life-long debilitating disease.
On behalf of all residents of Fairfax County affected by Lyme disease and the National Capital Lyme Disease Association we salute Supervisor Pat Herrity for his unwaivering dedication to this cause and the to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors for their outstanding work in making it a priority to provide tick-borne disease awareness and prevention education to the public so they “Don’t Get Sick from the Bite of a Tick!”