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TODAY: Lyme Disease Testing Awareness Bill, HB 1933, Passes Both Houses
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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February 19, 2013


Jessica Goodman

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Lyme Disease Testing Awareness Bill, House Bill 1933, Passes Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate

Richmond, VA- Today in the House of Delegates, House Bill 1933, the "Lyme Disease Information Disclosure Act," passed 56-40 and will now be sent to Governor McDonnell to sign. HB 1933 requires physicians to provide disclosure to people who are tested for Lyme Disease.

The disclosure statement informs those who have taken a Lyme Disease test, that there is a high rate of false negatives. Early detection of Lyme Disease is critical to successfully treating Lyme Disease and its co-infections. Although results rendered by commercial laboratories already bear disclaimers warning that the results may yield false negatives thus requiring additional testing, generally these disclosures are not seen by the patients. The Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act will ensure that this critical information will get to the hands of all patients being tested for Lyme Disease.

Delegate Barbara Comstock released the following statement:

"The passage of House Bill 1933 is a great step in raising awareness about this terrible disease and the high incidence of patients receiving false negative tests for Lyme. I have heard from many of my constituents about how they or someone in their life suffers from Lyme Disease."

"So often, they go untreated and undiagnosed for months and even years. I'm pleased that we were able to pass this bill which focuses on getting information about testing problems directly to patients so they can seek additional testing, if necessary, as well as appropriate treatment," said Delegate Comstock.

The National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association, an organization with over 3,000 members, including eleven chapters covering the entire state of Virginia endorses the bill. http://www.natcaplyme.org/chapters/. "We thank Delegate Comstock for her strong leadership in getting the bill through the General Assembly. We appreciate Delegates Hugo, Edmunds, Keam, Ramadan, Marshall, and Minchew for speaking on the floor in favor of the bill. We also thank Senator Dick Black (R-13) for his assistance in passage of this bill in the State Senate."

Early symptoms of Lyme Disease may include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. If left untreated or treatment is delayed, the disease can become chronic with serious, debilitating complications. A few examples include: joint pain and swelling, heart disease; neurological problems such as Bell's palsy, dizziness, irritability, ADHD-like symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, muscle weakness and neuropathy.

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