New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - The bite of a black-legged tick is closely linked to Lyme Disease.
Chief Entomologist Kirby Stafford at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station says, "This disease is highly endemic, it's spreading and it's not going to go away."
First reported in Connecticut, the debilitating disease is now in 49 states.
So widespread that Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for an aggressive federal assault.
He is proposing a bill that would provide resources to improve upon what's in place for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Most importantly, it creates an advisory committee that guarantees patients a seat at the table.
Senator Blumental points out, "Patients have been unrepresented and unreflective in this process and they have a powerful story. They are the ones who've suffered."
Patient Mark Hopwood says, "The big one was that I had a brain tumor."
With no definitive diagnostic test, and consensus of treatment patients like Mark Hopwood are often misdiagnosed, suffer needlessly and burdened with medical bills in the thousands.
Hopwood emphasizes, "What would have happened had the first doctor, the second doctor or even the third doctor had a definitive test that could have said this is what it is."
The Senator's announcement is welcomed by Peter Wild who heads up Lyme Research Alliance.
"The most important thing," says Wild, "I think is to forge a consensus with the medical community based on evidence, based on science first of all to understand long term Lyme Disease and there to allow practitioners to treat it. "
Katy Reid, who struggled with Lyme Disease for 11 years says, "Everyone wants to get better. Everyone wants doctors who can diagnose and treat them and they want to be able to afford that treatment."
Senator Blumenthal is holding a Senate field hearing on the proposed bill. It's set for August 30th in Stamford, CT.
A Bristol man was arrested after allegedly shooting another man in the face in New Britain last Wednesday.
A school and the town of Pomfret are helping congregants of a church heavily damaged by fire.
A former colleague of a Yale University professor who died in police custody is organizing a protest, calling it a "political death."
The president of Poland is urging Connecticut officials to not impose the death penalty on a former Trumbull man convicted of murder in the deaths of a Bridgeport woman, her 9-year-old daughter and a Milford man.
Freezing drizzle and below freezing temperatures are making for a slow and dangerous commute this morning.
A multi-vehicle crash closed part of Interstate 95 in southwestern Connecticut for about two hours as road conditions turned slippery with the arrival of a wintry storm.
I-91 Northbound is closed in Cromwell because of a tractor trailer accident.
A New York man has been charged with attempted assault against two Waterbury police officers who tried to stop him after a home invasion and robbery.
A 72-year-old homeowner has died following a house fire that injured five others, including four firefighters.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.