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VA’s Delegate Reid Introduces Lyme Prevention & Education Bill

VA Del. David Reid

Delegate David A. Reid (D-House District 32) introduced Virginia HB 850, a Lyme disease bill, in House referral committee pending as of January 12, 2022. The bill pertains to Lyme disease; signage; instructional resources; and materials. It requires the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to develop and post signage in each state park and interstate park that addressees appropriate steps that park visitors can take to prevent tick bites, how to identify Lyme disease, and where to seek treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. The bill requires the Department to install signage in areas in the Commonwealth that have been identified as most susceptible to Lyme disease first. Signage installation is to be completed in all state parks and interstate parks by January 1, 2028.

In addition, the bill requires the Secretary of Education, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Natural Resources, to develop instructional resources and materials to assist school boards and local and regional public libraries in establishing an education and awareness program to protect children from Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

Instructional resources and materials are required to be appropriate for school aged children; to provide information on the identification of ticks, recommended procedures for safe tick removal, and best practices to protect from ticks. These resources may include video productions, pamphlets, and demonstration programs to illustrate the sizes of various ticks, including sizes before and after each variety of tick has become engorged, to assist with the identification of a tick and the reaction on the skin that may result from a tick bite; and will be available to school boards and local and regional public libraries at no charge.

LDA NOTE: The Lyme Disease Association Inc. (LDA) was contacted by Virginia Delegate Reid almost a year ago to share his concerns about the spread of Lyme disease in the region and asked LDA to provide input into possible ideas for legislation to help stop the spread of Lyme disease. In a subsequent zoom meeting with LDA President Pat Smith, the LDA provided to him a number of possible ideas related to prevention and education, especially in parks.  

Read full HB 850 here

Read all details on HB 850 here

Read additional Virginia legislation here