Integrated Pet Management (IPM) Institute https://ipminstitute.org submitted Tick-borne disease testimony to Congress today. Wording is in link above.
ITM (Integrated Tick Management) seeks to manage tick habitats, incorporate pesticide sprays, and provide host-targeted strategies for deer and mice.
In 2015 alone, the estimated annual US direct and indirect medical costs, lost income and tax revenue from 380,690 new cases of Lyme disease at $10,817 per case, totaled more than $4.1 billion. Lyme disease can cause lifelong, debilitating effects in humans and animals, and in some cases, death from direct and indirect health impacts.
If additional tick-borne diseases including babesia, anaplasmosis, tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are considered, the number of cases and costs increases by 30 percent to an estimated $5.4 billion annually. Tick-borne diseases in humans are increasing in number of diseases, cases and geographic distribution in the US. Without a serious investment in cost-effective, long-term solutions to reduce tick populations, tick-borne diseases will continue to spread and costs on the population’s health and wallets will only increase.
Given these tremendous costs and impacts on human lives, resources for tick-borne disease prevention and research must be elevated to a level commensurate with other diseases. For example, in 2012 the NIH invested $112 million in hepatitis C with 1300 new cases annually, or $86,154 per new case. Similarly, there was an investment of $29 million compared to 5700 new cases of West Nile virus, or $5087 per new case. In comparison, only $25 million was invested vs. 312,000 new cases of Lyme disease, which is only $80 per new case. As Lyme disease cases rose in 2013, the NIH reduced funding to $20 million. The investments to reduce Hepatitis C and West Nile virus have been effective and provide evidence that commensurate funding would mitigate tick-borne disease.
Although tick-borne diseases have been identified as a top priority in the CDC strategic plan, investment in reducing tick populations has remained minimal. The total 2016 CDC funding line for Lyme disease was approximately $10.6 million dollars.
In particular, more resources for prevention are critically needed. All federal agency funding allocation from 2006-2010 for tick-borne disease studies totaled $368,103,780. Only 2% ($7,362,075) of that funding supported tick surveillance and environmental factors, and only 3% ($11,043,113) of that funding for tick-borne disease studies supported research on ticks.