Wall Resident To Testify Before Congressional Subcommittee

Lyme Disease expert Pat Smith to testify about the difficulty of diagnosing and treating the disease

A Wall Township resident will be testifying before a Congressional subcommittee later today on the difficulty of getting diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease.

Pat Smith, a former president of the Board of Education and former head of the NJ Governor’s Lyme Advisory Council, is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health & Human Rights in Washington D.C. today at 2 p.m.

The hearing on Global Challenges in Diagnosing and Managing Lyme Disease will be broadcast live on the Committee’s website. The subcommittee is headed by U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-Monmouth.

Pat Smith, who is president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in a release that the hearing was “long overdue,’ because of the difficulty dignosing and treating the disease. Smith in a release said Lyme is on the rise domestically and across the globe, where the disease is found in about 65 countries.

Early symptoms of Lyme, a bacterial disease transmitted by tick bites, are often flu-like symptoms and joint pain.

“Experts are seeing a significant increase in ticks and tick-borne diseases in 2012,” Smith said in the release.

Alexander Davis July 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Lyme disease is under-diagnosed, under-treated, under-reported, and its horrific effects are under-estimated. However, the most important thing is to stop this plague. The deer epidemic caused the Lyme epidemic. In 1930 there were 300,000 deer in the US. Today there are 30 million. The wise residents of Monhegan Island Maine ended their Lyme epidemic by removing the deer. This worked because deer are key to the reproductive success of the ticks. Adult egg-laying ticks require a large mammal on which to feed. They will not feed on a rodent. Ticks from one deer produce at least 450,000 eggs per season. These develop into the immature ticks which bite Lyme-infected mice and us. Any federal plan should make it easier for communities to remove the disease-spreading deer. Cornell wildlife expert Paul Curtis says the deer population must be reduced to 6-8 deer per square mile to effectively reduce the tick population.


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