Lyme disease is an epidemic in town
There is evil among us here in Jamestown. I know this because I have heard it firsthand.
I was encouraged to attend the fourth public forum of the Tick Task Force at the library on Jan. 22. What I heard was nothing less than terrifying. The forum centered on stories from residents living with any number of tick-borne illnesses that are common here on Jamestown. Stories included individuals and families who have struggled with the multi-year, debilitating illness, including chronic pain, neurological issues and blindness. Sometimes the illnesses have been misdiagnosed for years as other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia, to name a few.
By the time this letter is in the paper, the Tick Task Force will have held the fifth forum on Jan. 29 to discuss solutions. This is the second tick committee formed by the Town Council over the last three years, and it has been a full decade since Jamestown was approached by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management with a warning that our deer population was approaching a critical mass. (Deer are the host of these rapidly multiplying ticks.)
I look forward to continued discussion and truly look forward to potential solutions to this serious public health hazard that we are faced with in Jamestown. I wish to thank the Tick Task Force and David Fuquea for leading the series of forums. I also wish to thank the Town Council for creating the task force and Town Councilors Blake Dickinson and Gene Mihaly for their leadership on the panel. I wish them much luck and courage in suggesting and voting on solutions to what I would call an evil epidemic in Jamestown.