Following Meetings with Life for Lyme Organization, New Jersey Significantly Boosts Education about Lyme and Other Tickborne Diseases
The prevalence of dangerous ticks and the diagnosis of tickborne diseases are at record highs in New Jersey. Yet awareness and education regarding this substantial danger has been pitifully low, even within the medical profession.
Thankfully, groundbreaking progress has been made as the weather warms and ticks swarm. Governor Phil Murphy officially designated May 2019 as “Tickborne Disease Awareness Month.” At the end of the month, the New Jersey Health Department announced a partnership with the state’s Department of Education to ramp up education about prevention and treatment of tickborne diseases in the state’s schools.
These developments follow aggressive outreach on this topic by the Life for Lyme organization, a division of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Medical Alliance. Within the past year, Duvi and Esther Honig, and other Life for Lyme leaders have held meetings and conversations with Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal and other top officials regarding this topic.
The Life for Lyme activists explained the difficulties of correctly diagnosing the myriad tickborne diseases. Symptoms can be easily confused with other physical, and even mental, diseases. Conventional tests are often unreliable and there is lots of confusion and knowledge gaps even amongst medical professionals. Additionally, necessary physician visits, tests and treatments are frequently not covered by insurance.
Properly educating government officials, medical professionals, educators and the general public about prevention and diagnosis can spare untold pain – even potential cases of death. There are various steps that families can take to preventing contracting these diseases. And early diagnosis and treatment significantly increases the chances of eradicating the disease before long term damage is done.
“I would like to thank Governor Murphy, Commissioner Elnahal and other state officials for taking Lyme related diseases seriously and making real progress in reducing the threat,” says Duvi Honig. “Life for Lyme looks forward to continue working at the governmental and communal level to raise awareness and provide crucial resources in this difficult battle.”
For more information about Life for Lyme and to access its resources, please visit www.lifeforlyme.org.