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Resolutions & Amendments

39th International Convention - Boston, MA (2010)

Lyme Disease: Treatment and Prevention

Resolution No. 53
39th International Convention
Boston Covention & Exhibition Center
June 28 - July 2, 2010
Boston, MA


Lyme disease is a serious illness, capable of infecting any organ system of the body.  The disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick and is caused by the spirochetal bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.  Lyme disease is called the “Great Imitator” because its symptoms resemble those of numerous other illnesses, including neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease); and

Lyme disease is prevalent across the United States; and

 Lyme disease presents a particular threat to many AFSCME members, whose work duties require them to be outside, in known tick habitats, sometimes for extended periods; and

Lyme disease can be transmitted without the patient being aware that infection has occurred.  Nymphal ticks are known carriers of Lyme disease and are much smaller than adult ticks, making it difficult if not impossible for the human to realize a tick attachment has taken place; and

A controversy exists in the medical community regarding almost every aspect of Lyme disease.  This controversy extends to the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of the disease.  Persons with a high risk of exposure to Lyme disease should be advised of the medical controversy so that the individuals can become knowledgeable about the basis for each side of the controversy, and be enabled to make appropriate medical choices; and

Worker’s compensation programs dealing with Lyme disease are often flawed since cost concerns of private insurers drive the course of treatment rather than the medical evidence or the wishes of the patient. 
That AFSCME lobby Congress to pass  H.R. 1179 and S.1352, two bills that would expand federal efforts concerning the prevention, education, treatment, and research related to Lyme disease; and

That AFSCME attempt to reform worker’s compensation programs throughout the country by lobbying states to pass laws that would allow diagnosis of Lyme to be based on a clinical assessment by a Lyme-literate doctor with the employee being allowed to choose the treatment protocol; and that all care will be provided for the employee, once diagnosed, without delay; and

That AFSCME and its affiliates will work with all of its locals to get into their MOU’s an education and prevention program for Lyme, and the ability for the employee to request from the employer Western Blot and PCR tests for Lyme and co-infections at any time they are experiencing possible Lyme symptoms, fully paid by the employer.
Linda Tremble, President and Delegate
Sharon Corkin, Secretary
AFSCME Council 57