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Delaware Bills Focus on Ticks & Educating Doctors

 

2016 08 29 DEBills(L to R) Sen. Ernie Lopez, House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, Gov. Jack Markell Cape Gazette / Photo by Chris FlOn 8/29/16, Delaware Governor Jack Markell joined Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehobeth) and Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes) for the signing of 2 Lyme disease bills.

These bills are a direct result from the findings of the June 1, 2015 Lyme Disease Prevention Task Force Report.  The task force was created in 2014 and Schwartzkopt and Lopez were its co-chairs.

House Bill 290:
This Act enforces the task force recommendation of an Integrated Pest Management strategy incorporating acaricide use, biological controls, management of tick-host animals and backyard habitat management.  DN-REC can now go on public and private land after permission to conduct research on tick habitats, tick-host animals, and tick vegetation.

House Bill 291:
An Act to amend Title 16 of the Delaware code relating to the creation of an oversight board to educate health care professionals about Lyme disease.

  • Educating health care professionals to develop a high index of suspicion for Lyme disease, because Delaware is in an endemic area for the disease.
  • Educating health care professionals that Lyme disease can be diagnosed clinically based on history and physical examination, and serologic antibody testing can confirm, but is not required to make, a clinical diagnosis.
  • Encouraging continuing medical education credits and nursing continuing education units regarding Lyme disease and make the topic enticing to encourage health care professionals to attend such courses as soon as they are available.
  • Hosting continuing education credits and units in all three counties, making efforts to host the courses in hospitals to get the most health care professionals together at once.
  • Delivering education in a variety of methods, using professional associations, medical journals, radio, internet, and conferences, and linking medical training with a public awareness campaign.
  • Trying to bring all health care professionals together for collaboration.

This Act includes a sunset provision and will expire 8 years after its enactment unless otherwise provided by a subsequent act of the General Assembly.

Delaware declared May 2016 Lyme Disease Awareness Month and sent LDA the resolution (click here for article

Gov. Markell signs two tick control bills into law (WMDT47 abc)

Markell signs Lyme disease measure (Cape Gazette)