The Sussex County Community College Performing Arts Center will be the scene for the NWNJ Lyme and Tick- Borne Disease Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The conference hosted by the college and Tick Squad will combine medical professionals and academic experts in the field of Lyme and tick- borne diseases.
The members of the Tick Squad - Liz and John Celmer, Doreen Edwards and Marty Theys - have been actively crusading for continuing education for state and local health officials, doctors, school officials and every citizen on the topic of Lyme and tick related diseases.
“Awareness needs to be raised and the disconnected gap between the community and doctors need to be closed on this subject,” clarified John Celmer. “Guidelines on treatment need to change and improve.”
The conference’s morning session will include talks on awareness, symptoms and treatments by medical doctors, Dr. Daniel Cameron, past president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and Dr. Kristin Reihman, author of Life After Lyme. Keynote speaker Pat Smith will speak on Lyme Disease statistics, transmission of the disease as well as federal issues and legislation.
The afternoon session will discuss action to follow management of the tick population and how to help protect family and pets. These lectures will be presented by Dr. Alvaro Toledo, Dr. Dina Conde and conference facilitator Erin Collins, SCCC Supervisor of Agriculture and Horticulture Programs. Also on the attendance roster will be Senator Steve Oroho and local freeholders.
The Tick Squad hopes that local school system officials will make this conference a priority, as 119 e-mail reminders notified schools of the seriousness and necessity of these talks. Again, emphasizing the seriousness of this tick problem and related illnesses, Doreen Edwards stated, “Tick removals are under-reported with medical officials, not testing all removed ticks.
“This is serious, all ticks need to be tested and don’t believe the mis-notion that the tick population dies with the first frost,” Edwards said.
Over the years, ticks have become resilient and can survive Sussex County winters.