Lyme Disease Town Hall Meeting on May 15
May 5, 2010
Because Lyme disease cases increased in Fairfax County last year, Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova and Providence District Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth are hosting a town hall meeting on Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to noon. The event will take place in the Board Auditorium, Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.
Special guest U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly will participate in the town hall. The event will feature presentations and a panel discussion with county staff and two of the nation’s leading experts on Lyme disease.
“Lyme disease is on the rise in Virginia and the United States, according to the CDC,” said Bulova. “As people spend more time outdoors because of the warm weather, we want them to know how to protect themselves from the ticks that transmit Lyme disease.”
Two leading experts from the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention will make presentations. Benjamin Beard, Ph.D., chief, Bacterial Diseases Branch, and Dr. Paul Mead, chief, Epidemiology and Surveillance Activity, will discuss a variety of topics, including:
- How ticks transmit the disease.
- How the disease is spreading from the Northeast into Northern Virginia.
- What people can do to protect themselves.
Dr. Peter Troell, medical epidemiologist, Fairfax County’s Health Department, will describe the local tracking of Lyme disease cases and the county’s response. Panelists also include Jorge Arias, Ph.D., Fairfax County Health Department Disease Carrying Insects Program, and Victoria Monroe, county wildlife biologist.
In Fairfax County, 260 cases of Lyme disease were reported during 2009. There are likely many more cases than reported because people who are infected may not get tested or treated for the disease.
To combat Lyme disease, Fairfax County employs a more comprehensive approach than many other areas in the nation, which only focus on teaching people how to avoid ticks. The county’s approach includes:
- Tracking human cases.
- Tick surveillance.
- Outreach to health care providers to promote early diagnosis and treatment.
- Deer management.
- Public education.
For more information or reasonable ADA accommodations, contact the Chairman’s Office at 703-324-2321, TTY 711.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711