March 4, 2013, was a great day for getting the word out about testing for Lyme, the sixth-fastest-growing infectious disease in the country: Virginia became the first state in the nation requiring doctors to tell patients that their Lyme test results may not be accurate.
With the signature of Governor Robert F. McDonnell, who convened a task force on Lyme in 2011, Virginians will gain a better chance of early diagnosis and treatment.
That’s great news for Virginians, and great news for others across the globe seeking similar legislation.
As you can see in their debate in this video on YouTube, many Virginia legislators now have an excellent understanding of this complex disease seen increasingly across their state. And their passionate statements are compelling.
Lyme disease champion Delegate Barbara J. Comstock made a strong case for the bill in her introduction. Other highlights:
1:30 Delegate Timothy D. Hugo talked about the nightly head-to-toe tick-check he gives his kids, and offers stories of people who weren’t diagnosed early.
8:08 Delegate James E. Edmunds II said he believes his father died from untreated lyme disease and might be alive today if he’d known his lyme test was inaccurate. If we can save one life, he said, this bill is worth it.
13:20 Delegate Randall Minchew spoke as a Scout Master who has pulled countless ticks from boys in Loudoun County.
13:52 Delegate Mark Keam mades me want to stand up and cheer when he advocated for the version of the bill that would put information directly in the hands of patients.
I did stand up and cheer when the bill was passed. Thank you, Delegate Barbara J. Comstock—and all 56 Delegates who voted to protect Virginians from the nighmare of chronic lyme disease.
Now if only this victory can inspire similar actions across the globe.
Tagged: Delegate Barbara Comstock, Delegate James E. Edmunds II, Delegate Mark Keam, Delegate Randall Michew, Delegate Timothy D. Hugo, lyme disease, lyme disease testing, lyme testing, video, Virginia House Bill 1033