Health Care Professionals
With one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country, New Hampshire has been impacted significantly by tickborne diseases. The incidence of Lyme disease in the United States has nearly doubled since 1991, on average, New Hampshire’s rate has increased by 87 additional cases per 100,000 000 people. Approximately 1,170 people in New Hampshire are newly diagnosed with Lyme disease annually. Yet according to our statewide survey responses about 40% of residents believe they are at a low or no risk of contracting Lyme disease.
The Tick Free NH Council and Tick Free NH are providing NH these practice and consumer tested resources, for use in your offices, on tick prevention to share with patients and clients and encourage protective behaviors against tickborne diseases.
In 2019 Tick Free NH conducted a health care professional survey to ascertain current practices and level of need for educational materials on tickborne disease. These materials were created from what health care professionals identified as needed to increase and enhance the conversations they have with their patients around tickborne disease prevention.
If you are an active or retired healthcare worker from any NH healthcare-related setting, including clinical and non-clinical ones, or are a student or trainee in any healthcare-related discipline in New Hampshire, please support NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action, a young grassroots and nonpartisan organization! As healthcare workers are uniquely positioned to increase public awareness of the links between health and climate change, NHHWCA seeks to provide NH healthcare workers the tools to educate and mobilize the public in support of climate solutions to improve health for all, including reducing exposure to vectorborne diseases.
Join the Tick Free NH Council
The Tick Free NH Council is an advisory group that convenes quarterly to prioritize prevention activities and identify and leverage partnerships in tickborne disease prevention. Tick Free NH is a donor-funded project which provides education and resources at no-cost to all New Hampshire residents to help them protect themselves from tick encounters. Contact us for more information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a TickBorne Diseases of the United States Reference Manual for Health Care Providers. The CDC also offers a set of online Tickborne Disease Continuing Education Modules that focus on treatment and testing.
The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services released a Health Alert for health care professionals New Hampshire Tickborne Diseases (TBDs) Update, 2021.
Commitment of national-level resources
Commit national-level resources in the areas of: disease and tick surveillance, biorepositories for specimens, and national databases, would accelerate recognition of new threats, development of new diagnostics and treatments, and identification of the pathogenesis of disease.
Development of a tickborne disease portfolio
Develop a tickborne disease portfolio in the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). This would likely improve coordination across agencies and accelerate progress toward improving patient care and address deficiencies identified in the tickborne disease diagnostics and therapeutics discovery pipelines.
Prioritize health equity for sufferers of tickborne diseases and associated illnesses. Recent advances in the care of at-risk patients include improved access to telemedicine in areas where health care providers lack expertise in tick-borne diseases and associated illnesses; better understanding of the clinical presentation of tick-borne diseases, particularly in populations that are commonly under-evaluated such as prisoners, individuals in psychiatric facilities, and migrant workers; establishment of safety standards for individuals in high-risk occupations; and labeling of food, medical, and commercial products to protect patients with Alpha-gal Syndrome.
Creation of targeted funding opportunities
Create targeted funding opportunities in understudied areas, including: development of tick control and preventive agents against tick bites; improved diagnostics for multiple diseases; vaccines; treatments for tickborne viruses and persistent symptoms of Lyme disease; and additional studies of central nervous system and psychiatric manifestations of tickborne illnesses, effects on pregnancy, and development of post-tick bite allergies to alpha galactosidase.