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Politicians to hold forum on Lyme Disease

State Assemblyman Dan Stec addresses the Warren County Board of Supervisors in a recent session of the lawmakers. Stec is among three state politicians sponsoring a forum on Lyme Disease scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Friday Oct. 4 at Crandall Library, Glens Falls. To feature some leading experts on the affliction, the forum examines the latest information on diagnosis and treatment.

State Assemblyman Dan Stec addresses the Warren County Board of Supervisors in a recent session of the lawmakers. Stec is among three state politicians sponsoring a forum on Lyme Disease scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Friday Oct. 4 at Crandall Library, Glens Falls. To feature some leading experts on the affliction, the forum examines the latest information on diagnosis and treatment. Photo by Thom Randall.

— State legislators Assemblyman Dan Stec and State Sen. Betty Little are hosting a forum on Lyme Disease from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 4 at Crandall Library, and the public is urged to participate.

The forum is to feature top state health officials, a leading Lyme researcher and several doctors well-informed on the serious disease which has recently had exponential growth in the region.

Stec and Little are to be joined by Assemblyman Tony Jordan in the event, which is to examine the latest treatment regimens as well as new information about Lyme Disease and other tick-borne afflictions.

Lyme disease is prevalent in the northeastern U.S. — and it is now the fastest growing disease in the nation.

Fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a characteristic circular skin rash are common symptoms. Left untreated, symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. Dozens of other associated infections, some serious and fatal, are also carried by deer ticks, the primary carrier of Lyme Disease.

Antibiotics are typically used to treat such infection. Serious symptoms can develop if diagnosis is off-target, or if treatment is inadequate or delayed.

The purpose of the public forum is to raise awareness of Lyme disease and to discuss its impact on afflicted individuals and their families, including diagnosis and treatment. The forum will also feature a discussion on research to combat the spread of the disease and foster a dialogue among experts, state representatives and audience members regarding public policy to address this health issue, Little aide Dan Mac Entee said.

The panelists include Dr. Bryon Backenson, of the state Disease Control Department of Health epidemiologist and research scientist; Dr. Timothy Sellati, a Trudeau Institute immunologist and Dr. Jennifer Rowley, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist; and Holly Ahern, a SUNY Adirondack professor of Microbiology.

Presentations by these experts will be followed by a question-and-answer period, he said.

“This is likely to be cutting edge presentation,” he said. The forum is to be held in the library’s community room.

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