BY  ON 08/31/17 AT 1:41 PM

A Staten Island woman contracted spinal meningitis from a tick bite, making her one of seven people diagnosed with tick-borne diseases this summer. Lawmakers renewed attempts to acquire state and federal resources for disease prevention, reported WABC Wednesday.

Dee Vandenburg was bitten by a deer tick and unknowingly contracted Lyme disease, which went undiagnosed for four months and developed into spinal meningitis, reported WCBSWednesday.

Vandenburg spent about two weeks in the hospital and had an IV port inserted in her arm to provide her with her daily doses of antibiotics.

“It’s the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had in my life,” Vandenburg said to WCBS.

The deer population in Staten Island increased 9,000 percent in 9 years, according to silive.comin April. Deer have heavily populated Wolfe’s Pond Park, a wooded area near Vandenburg’s place of residence where deer live and breed. Last year, the city began a $2 million sterilization program.

“We have deer that walk down our street like they own it. They’re beautiful, but they’re not so pretty anymore,” Vandenburg said.

Republican Representative Dan Donovan of Staten Island introduced a new bill Wednesday for an initiative to track deer ticks nationwide. It would allow people to send photos of ticks they pull off their bodies to experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His plan shared similarities with one proposed by the New York State Health Department, a public website to provide people access to tick collection and testing results.

“It will allow individuals to send images and basic information to a disease professional, and that professional would respond within 72 hours with information about the type of tick and the risk of what they may incur from that tick bite,” Donovan said.

The professional would also tell you what questions to ask a doctor regarding the suspected tick exposure.

“This is an issue that’s become a bigger public health problem and it’s the type of issue that is so important to be proactive for our community,” Donovan said. “We are known as the borough of parks, but just be aware of the risks and take precautions. Check yourself for ticks.”


The video found on the same page as this article is a completely different story about a fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroids.  The two stories have nothing to do with each other other than they are both saddening.

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