Letter to Committee

S-971 and HB-1933

Dear Senator Martin,

As you may know there are many problems surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. The Virginia Department of Health, however, does not need a bill forcing it to make minor changes to its website, especially when the proposed changes are not really changes at all. Informing patients that Lyme tests may not be accurate in the early stages has already been fully addressed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the VA Department of Health (DOH), via referral to the CDC website.

Furthermore, requiring the Virginia Department of Health to distribute unspecified Lyme-related "information" has been strongly opposed by patients, Lyme-treating physicians and Lyme disease educators in other states when this type of wording was included.

"The Department of Health shall distribute information and guidance regarding the occurrence of Lyme disease in the Commonwealth and diagnosis of Lyme disease,"

If and when the need arises, it is our goal to work with legislators presenting fresh, innovative ideas specifically designed to improve the health of those suffering today, and also protect those who will contract Lyme disease in the future. House Bill 1933 and Senate Bill 971, the thoughtful gestures they are, do not do accomplish these goals. Therefore, I respectfully request you do not pass these bills out of your Committee.

Thank you for your consideration. And don’t forget- do a tick check!


Lucy Barnes


UPDATE 2/25/13- The bills, as expected, were not passed in their original form due to their lack of substance, inability to accomplish its goals, and objections from many people and organizations. To see the most recent updated bill wording (better), please click here.