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Klobuchar, Collins urge action to prevent Lyme disease

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), along with U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), called on the administration to take swift action to prevent and respond to Lyme disease.

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is approximately 300,000, 10 times higher than cases reported annually.

Klobuchar and Collins wrote to the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, urging the agency to use all available resources to improve diagnostic tools and ramp up efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.

Earlier this year, Klobuchar and Collins urged the Food and Drug Administration to alleviate a shortage of a drug used to treat infectious diseases like Lyme disease.

"This report underscores the need to take action to better prevent and respond to Lyme disease," Klobuchar said. "We need to do everything in our power to expand and boost efforts to ensure that the public, health care providers, educators and others are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of this disease."

Both Minnesota and Maine have high incidences of tick-borne illnesses. According to the CDC, in 2011, 96 percent of Lyme disease cases were reported from 13 states, including Minnesota and Maine.