Reed: US creates national strategy to combat Lyme disease

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says Congress has passed a bill that will help battle Lyme disease.

The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act backed by the Rhode Island Democrat as well as Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire will expand federal research efforts to increase surveillance, enhance prevention efforts, and help improve tests to diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

Reed says Rhode Island has a higher incidence of Lyme disease than the national average. State health officials say 904 people reported contracting the disease in 2015 alone.

The incidence of tick-borne disease throughout the country has doubled since 1991.

The bill now goes to the president.