New state budget includes more Lyme disease research funding.

ALBANY — State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, announced Friday that the 2018-19 state budget would include significantly more funding for Lyme disease research.

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Sen. Ritchie is a member of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases and has cosponsored three bills this year to help stop the spread of Lyme disease and improve treatment for it.

This year’s state budget includes $1 million dedicated to the research and prevention of Lyme disease, more than double last year’s allocation.

The bills cosponsored by Sen. Ritchie would address insurance expenses from treating Lyme disease, protecting homes from ticks and create tick-borne illness specialization centers. They are awaiting approval from the state Assembly.

A total of 175 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties in 2015, according to the state Department of Health..

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