In addition to his clinical and research work, Dr. Daniel Cameron has been an outspoken advocate for Lyme disease patients. He has provided support and testimony at legislative hearings and public forums, across the country, urging policymakers to adopt laws that would advance the standard of care for patients afflicted with tick-borne diseases.
Excerpts of testimony by Dr. Cameron
Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007
“The number of Lyme disease patients who do not fit the CDC’s epidemiologic definition continues to grow. The CDC’s case definition does not include many of the most common neurologic, psychiatric and chronic manifestations including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, poor memory and concentration, sleep disturbance, arthralgias, numbness, and myalgias. …
The bill would evaluate the feasibility of developing a reporting system for the collection of data on physician-diagnosed cases of Lyme disease that do not meet the surveillance criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to more accurately gauge disease incidence.”
National Lyme Disease Strategy Act
Dr. Cameron met with lawmakers to express his support for legislation that would improve treatment for Lyme disease patients living in Canada.
An Act Concerning the Long-term use of Antibiotic Treatment of Lyme Disease
“This legislation is urgently needed to ensure that Lyme disease patients in Connecticut continue to have access to care by physicians experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic Lyme disease and to coverage if a physician feels intravenous antibiotics are necessary. The legislation will enable very ill CT residents to choose treatment options that best meet their needs while the medical community works to find consensus on Lyme disease treatment guidelines.”
A Resolve Relative to Lyme disease and associated co-infections
“It’s important to remember that only a minority of Lyme patients will test positive by an IgG Western blot test, and most present without a bulls-eye rash. But an accurate clinical diagnosis can still be made by a Lyme disease-experienced physician, provided the doctor is free to use his best medical judgment without fear of reprisals. And most of these clinically-diagnosed patients do get well when treated with antibiotics for sufficient lengths of time.”
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing long term antibiotic treatment for certain patients with Lyme disease
“The number of cases of Lyme disease continues to rise in New York. The number of patients with Lyme disease who develop chronic illness has been estimated to be as high as 34% to 62% based on two published long-term outcome studies in Westchester and Massachusetts, respectively. …
Citizens of New York who have Lyme disease are increasingly frustrated with difficulties in obtaining access to a physician who will diagnose and treat their illness. … . No physician should have to fear losing his or her medical license simply for providing prudent and appropriate antibiotic treatment to patients who have chronic Lyme disease, or for taking on tough cases that have been turned away by other doctors.”
Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Prevention and Treatment Act
“Creating a Task Force on Lyme Disease and related tick-borne disorders would empower the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join forces with physicians, members of ILADS, Lyme patients, and others with first-hand knowledge of this debilitating disease, in a unified effort to halt this growing epidemic. …
Lyme disease presents a very real and growing threat to the citizens of the Commonwealth, and the problem must be addressed without further delay.”
An act relating to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses
“It’s important to find out what the options are at the first visit with the doctor. Even if the doctor says they’re only going to have one plan, not to treat unless they get a Western blot, it’s nice to know there are alternatives.”
Lyme disease testing information disclosure act
This bill requires that doctors inform patients of the limitations of tests for tick-borne diseases.
What are legislators saying?
As the number of Lyme disease cases grows and new tick-borne illnesses emerge, policymakers from all over the world are voicing concern and supporting legislation to help combat the disease and improve care for patients.
“Moving forward, we need to continue to work on better testing so individuals with Lyme are diagnosed early. This may require changing the Centers for Disease Control guidelines to ensure better treatment and insurance coverage.”
– Congressman Chris Gibson, New York
“Lyme disease has progressed into a national epidemic. Legislation … will improve the quality of health among those living with this dreadful illness.”
– Senator David Carlucci, New York
“It’s important for us to educate people about the fact that if they do contract this disease they should then get immediate help, because it can turn into a chronic disease and have very serious consequences.”
– Senator Stewart Greenleaf, Pennsylvania
“This disease is a major cost issue and public health issue. … The school time taken away from the children who get sick is major, it is major in terms of the suffering people go through.”
– Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
(New Haven Register, 3/21/14)
“What we know about Lyme disease is that, if not detected early, it is an extraordinarily debilitating disease that can uproot the life of an otherwise very healthy Vermonter.”
– Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont
“For far too long, those suffering from Lyme and tick-borne illness have not had the patients’ rights that they deserve. Today, I’m proud that the State Senate has finally listened to their voices.”
– Senator Terry Gipson, New York
(Poughkeepsie Journal, 6/19/14)
Dr. Daniel Cameron joins the Countess of Mar at a Lyme Disease Symposium in London.