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The Office of Governor M. Jodi Rell

Seal of the State of Connecticut


M. Jodi Rell

November 6, 2007
Adam Liegeot 

Governor Rell Announces Expansion of Lyme

Disease Surveillance and Education Measures


Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state has launched a three-part Lyme disease surveillance and education program.

“Thousands of patients with Lyme disease visit Connecticut doctors every year,” Governor Rell said. “We aim to increase community awareness about Lyme, but we also are pushing forward in our efforts to track Lyme disease cases electronically.”

“Our goal is to bring about an efficient, accurate method of recording Lyme disease cases so that we can make informed long-term policy and planning decisions. We want to truly understand the risk of the disease and its economic impact.”

The Governor said that the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is now partnering with the state’s largest provider of medical testing, Quest Diagnostics, to obtain positive Lyme disease test results. The state will work with Quest until a state-run electronic laboratory system is implemented.

The DPH is currently processing positive Lyme lab results from Quest, and preparing to send to physicians letters of request for further clinical information on approximately 5,500 patients.

“These test results correlated with clinical information provided in confidence by the health care providers gives the DPH valuable information about the number of Lyme cases in Connecticut,” said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin. “I urge my fellow physicians to complete these letters of request as soon as they are received, and return that information to the DPH for analysis.”

The second part of the Governor’s Lyme disease initiative involves the establishment of intensive community based Lyme disease education and protection programs for Fairfield and Windham counties. This includes media outreach, handbooks and brochures, and face-to-face education seminars through community organizations.

“Windham County has the highest annual average rate of Lyme disease, while Fairfield County, with its large population, has the highest total number of cases, “Governor Rell stated. “The emphasis here is on education and protection programs, as well as input and feedback from the local communities.”

In addition, the Governor said that the state has entered into an on-going partnership with the Connecticut State Medical Society to further educate physicians about Lyme disease detection, surveillance and reporting.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. People are particularly vulnerable to it in the wooded areas of the state where deer are abundant. For more information on Lyme disease, please visit the DPH website at