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Lawmaker calls for full implementation of law aimed at combating tick-borne diseases

CDC: Up to 10K Lyme disease cases were reported in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam over past 15 years

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Within the last few years, four Lower Hudson Valley residents were diagnosed with the powassan virus, a dangerous tick-borne disease that causes brain swelling.

Sen. Charles Schumer was at the Ward Acres Park in New Rochelle Wednesday demanding something be done about tick borne diseases. Last year, Congress passed legislation to combat tick-borne diseases.

"It calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct studies and figure out ways to better diagnose, treat and prevent tick-borne illness," Sen. Schumer said. Now he wants HHS secretary Tom Price to fully implement the legislation.

"There is significant dollars. This bill overall had, I think, over $8 million and he can take as much as he needs to deal with Lyme disease. It's authorized, it's ready to go. What's he waiting for?... the numbers are going up," Schumer said.

According to the CDC, Lyme disease is extremely prevalent in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties with almost 10,000 reported cases over the past 15 years, with a peak in 2015

Many in the area have been bitten by ticks within Westchester County

While experts says there are ways to defend yourself against ticks, for example, by wearing long pants while in wooded areas, Sen. Schumer says we need more: More strategies to help stamp out ticks and protect Hudson Valley families.

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