Captiol News from The Assembly Minority Conference
The Assembly Minority Conference

Education & Prevention Critical Components in the Fight Against Disease

Summertime in New York is full of opportunities to experience the natural resources across our state. There is no shortage of lakes, rivers, wooded hiking trails and campgrounds to enjoy, but it is extremely important we utilize these amenities safely. With that in mind, I encourage all New Yorkers to stay alert to the risks of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease.

In Oswego County we have seen a huge surge in Lyme disease cases over the past few years. Recent data shows an increase in cases from 149 in 2018 to 249 in 2019. Further, according to research from the SUNY Center for Vector-borne Diseases at Upstate Medical University, 38.5 percent of ticks in Oswego County were infected with Lyme Disease during the testing period from April of 2019 to March of 2020. Over the same period 12 months later, that rate was 43 percent.

As County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang pointed out recently, overall, New York has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease of any state in the U.S.

This is a real threat, but one that can be mitigated by some basic precautionary measures and learning more about the issue. In order to combat tick-borne illnesses, education and prevention are essential for everyone. An excellent resource for such information is the Lyme Action Network. There, you can find helpful statistics and research data regarding the disease and its transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some helpful tips for staying safe as well. Included in their suggestions are to be mindful of where you might expect to find ticks, treat clothing and equipment with insecticides like Permethrin, and check yourself thoroughly after spending time in high-volume areas. Be especially careful in high-grass areas, and be sure to check any pets that might have walked through those areas as well.

If you discover a tick, it is critical to remove it properly and promptly. Even though not every bite will result in Lyme disease, it is still important to address bites immediately. The CDC suggests using tweezers to grab as much of the tick as possible. After it is removed, wash the bite area thoroughly.

There are so many wonderful outdoor recreational places to enjoy in New York state, and I hope that you have a chance to experience as many of them as you can fit into the warm-weather season. However, please be especially cognizant of the risks of Lyme disease and the uptick in cases we have experienced in recent years.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 19 Canalview Mall, Fulton, NY 13069 and by email at