Local woman fighting back against tick-borne illness - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local woman fighting back against tick-borne illness


ALBANY, N.Y. - Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legislation that would create more funding for studies on Powassan virus and other tick illnesses like Lyme disease. NEWS10 spoke with a local woman who says her fight with Lyme disease could be improved if the legislation was to pass in Congress.

"I am 30-years-old and there are times I feel like I am 80," said Jessica Duell of Albany, who says she was diagnosed in October 2012 with Lyme disease. The illness is carried by deer ticks, and Duell says she believes she got it while walking in the Pine Bush Preserve.

"My symptoms were fevers. I have fevers every single day," said Duell.

Duell says she was first mis-diagnosed. She, like Senator Schumer, wants to see more education and research for tick-borne illnesses. Duell is currently being treated at the Stram Center in Delmar.

"Lives are being affected. I was not successfully treated. I'm still struggling everyday and I'm unable to afford the new treatment plan that doctors want me on," said Duell.

Senator Schumer's push for more testing of tick-borne illnesses and more affordable treatment could help Duell, but she believes a cure and less mis-diagnosing starts with the medical community.

"Maybe information being accessible to doctors," said Duell.

Lyme disease is similar to another tick virus recently found in Saratoga County, the Powassan virus, which can be deadly.

"Waking up in the morning taking your first step onto the ground. You don't know if you're going to pass out that day," said Duell.

In order for Senator Schumer's plans to go through the Centers for Disease Control would have to agree to do more research and legislation must be passed.

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