2013-08-29 / News

Lyme-prevention panel meets for first time

The Town Council-appointed Tick Task Force met last week to outline goals and objectives for dealing with the high incidence of Lyme and other tick-related diseases prevalent in Jamestown.

Led by Town Councilor Gene Mihaly, the group is charged with developing a multipronged approach to combat the pervasiveness of tick-borne illnesses on the Island.

The tiny deer tick has created enormous health problems throughout New England, with a huge impact in Jamestown, where the incidence of tick encounters is one of the highest in the state.

To help overcome the threat, the task force will focus on two initiatives. First, it will work to develop an educational campaign to inform community members on the public health problem. Second, the task force will coordinate with local, state and federal officials to determine the best way to deal with the overpopulation of white-tailed deer.

“Practically everyone you talk to either has Lyme or other tickcarried disease, or knows someone on the island who does,” said Mihaly. “This has become a serious health threat and our friends and neighbors are demanding action. We believe they deserve our help.”

The formation of the task force is timely, he added, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just announced that Lyme is much more common than previously reported.

One element of the education campaign will showcase individuals that have battled or are battling Lyme disease. Mihaly said the task force is looking for residents who would like to share their personal stories. They can email him at mi halyjamestowntc@gmail.com.

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