Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Maryland State Legislators Readying Lyme Bill

And a bi-partisan bill too!

"I don't think you can live anywhere in the state of Maryland and not know someone who is suffering from Lyme disease," said Delegate Kathy Afzali, (R) District 4, and chairwoman of the Frederick County Legislative Delegation.

This revelation led delegates Kathy Afzali and Karen Young (D) District 3, to start prepping a bill that would fund research, encourage education and protect doctors who are treating patients with the debilitating disease.

"We want to advocate to the governor to increase funding for research and we want Maryland to be a ground breaking state in terms of what we want to solve," Afzali said.

Afzali said increasing funding would be one of three parts of the bill. The bill would also push to change disclosure practices for patients who are being tested for the disease.

"Most people don't know that the Lyme test is only 20 percent accurate," Afzali said. "This means that in those early phases of Lyme disease, when a person is most vulnerable, they're often misdiagnosed with a false negative. We want to encourage patients to seek further testing."

The third prong of the legislation would protect doctors who are trying to help patients suffering from the disease.

Afzali said she hopes to introduce the legislation in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly.

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