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National Association Announces Eastern Connecticut Lyme Chapter

Press Contacts 
Local: Kimberlee Pappa – easternctlda@yahoo.com 
National: Pat Smith – Lymeliter@aol.com

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Association Announces Eastern Connecticut Lyme Chapter
Eastern counties high in disease, low in awareness, says new LDA chapter chair

NORWICH, CONNECTICUT, November 26, 2007–The national Lyme Disease Association (LDA) announces the formation of the Lyme Disease Association, Eastern Connecticut Chapter (LDAECC), bringing the current total of LDA-associated 
organizations nationwide to 31.


LDAECC’s formation was initiated by a family personally affected by Lyme disease who is deeply concerned by the prevalence of this disease. Commenting on the formation, the new Chapter Chair, Kimberlee Pappa, of Sprague, Connecticut said, “As a businesswoman, every day I speak to people who have been affected by Lyme, and they are all reaching out for help and information. I want to be a resource for them.”

Lyme is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the country, and it has been joined by other emerging co-infections in the Northeast including babesiosis, anaplasmosis (formerly ehrlichiosis), and tick-borne Bartonella, transmitted by the bite of the same deer ticks that carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Tolland County’s number of Lyme disease cases has increased by 95% from 2004 to 2006, with a corresponding 75% increase in New London County’s numbers.

Children are a special concern because age groups 5-14 years are at highest risk of acquiring Lyme disease. The Pappa Family has 2 children suffering from Lyme disease and therefore is aware of the learning difficulties caused by it. Unfortunately, too many parents are unaware that Lyme disease can interfere with the learning process and that many students require special accommodations in the classroom as a result. Lyme disease can cause numerous ongoing physical problems involving the cardiac, neurologic, and musculo-skeletal systems, especially if treatment is delayed or incomplete, and it can manifest as psychiatric problems. Neurologic Lyme can even cause a drop in IQ for some students, which can usually be rectified with treatment.

Says LDA President Patricia V. Smith, “I am delighted to announce the creation of this chapter, LDA’s 8th chapter, in an area which contains some of the highest Lyme disease occurrences in the country. Awareness is certainly the key to prevention of this disease, and more research needs to be done to answer the tough questions, such as why some people do not get totally better.” To that end, LDA and Time for Lyme, its Greenwich, Connecticut affiliate, collaborated to raise funds to open in 2007 the Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University in New York.

The LDAECC will work to further the LDA’s mission of education, prevention, research, and patient support. LDAECC is looking for volunteers and support. Contact Kimberlee at easternctlda@yahoo.com 

ABOUT THE LYME DISEASE ASSOCIATION (LDA): LDA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization which has developed and presented many programs for children in the schools, for scouts, and to help children obtain diagnosis and treatment if they lack medical insurance for Lyme disease through the LymeAid 4 Kids fund. You can find out more information about both Lyme disease, including the numbers, and impact upon students (visit the Lyme in the Schools Section), and information on the Lyme Disease Association by visiting its website at www.LymeDiseaseAssociation.org.