Mar 22, 2014
05:47 AM
Connecticut Today

Lyme Disease Battle Goes on in Connecticut; Blumenthal Pushes Awareness

 
Lyme Disease Battle Goes on in Connecticut; Blumenthal Pushes Awareness

Ixodes scapularis, or the black-legged “deer” tick.

Mark Hopwood was sick for two years before he was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.

See our 2013 Connecticut Magazine story:

Connecticut's War on Lyme Disease

Hopwood, of Trumbull, saw 10 doctors before he was given theproper diagnosis, and 3½ years later, said he still suffers from chronic issues from the sickness.

“It has been a trial and error of different treatments and many of them have been good,” Hopwood said. “It was a hit or miss but sometimes I still have to stay in bed.”

Hopwood told of his struggle, and how it made an impact on his life as a father and husband, at Common Ground High School in New Haven Friday morning, where he was joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Blumenthal held the meeting to kickstart his 2014 awareness campaign about the importance of Lyme disease education and prevention. (Left, Blumenthal with Dr. Joann Petrini, director of the Lyme Disease Registry and clinical research at Danbury Hospital; Charlotte Adinolfi photo.)

In 2013, Blumenthal introduced the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act to promote Lyme disease prevention, education and to push to develop better tools for diagnosing and reporting the illness.

Blumenthal said he plans to continue pushing for passage of this act and awareness of the issue throughout coming months when ticks are most likely to pass along the disease.

“This disease is a major cost issue and public health issue,” Blumenthal said. “The school time taken away from the children who get sick is major, it is major in terms of the suffering people go through.”

Blumenthal also said many cases go unreported or even undiagnosed.

Dr. Joann Petrini, director of the Lyme Disease Registry and clinical rsearch at Danbury Hospital, said a better test to detect Lyme disease earlier is key.

“Research moves slowly but the good advice from the community is helpful,” Petrini said.

The registry has been working to compare the symptoms of acute and chronic cases of Lyme disease and Petrini said they have found the symptoms align.

“What we need now is patient participation,” Petrini said.

See the full story at the New Haven Register online.

 

Lyme Disease Battle Goes on in Connecticut; Blumenthal Pushes Awareness

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