WEST CHESTER (April 9) – State Senator Andy Diniman and the Pennsylvania Lyme Disease Awareness Committee will host a screening of “Emergence,” a new documentary about the challenges facing patients with Lyme disease and the doctors struggling to treat them.

The screening is set for Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at West Chester University’s Sykes Student Union on Rosedale Avenue. It is free and open to the publiccayenne-tick-542169_1280

“Emergence” is the sequel to the groundbreaking and award-winning documentary, “Under Our Skin,” which helped raise public awareness of the growing prevalence of Lyme disease and the challenges sufferers face in seeking treatment. The follow-up revisits several characters from the original documentary and sheds light on promising new research in the battle against Lyme disease.

Dinniman, who was a strong supporter and co-sponsor of Act 83 of 2014, the Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Education, Prevention and Treatment Act, will discuss the details of the new law prior to the film.

After the screening, Doug Fearn, President of the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, will take questions from the audience.

“Act 83 marked a major step forward in recognizing, raising awareness of and helping prevent Lyme disease, which is extremely prevalent in our region and poses a serious threat to our health and quality of life,” Dinniman said. “But there is much more work to be done in preventing Lyme disease and ensuring that sufferers have access to adequate medical care.”

Dinniman also said he looks forward to the release of the report currently being prepared by the Lyme Disease Task Force under the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The task force, which was established by Act 83, is expected to complete its report and submit it to the legislature this fall.

“Almost everyone in our area either has Lyme disease or has a family member or friend who does. Most people never see the tick that bit them and gave them Lyme disease,” said Fearn. “The best way to stay safe is to be educated and use proper prevention methods. You do not want to get this dreadful disease.”

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer tick bites. The early clinical diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can greatly reduce their risks. Left untreated, Lyme can cause a number of symptoms that can become quite severe and affect every system and organ in the body.

“Southeastern Pennsylvania – right here in our own backyard – is ground zero for Lyme disease,” Dinniman said. “I encourage everyone to come out to see this important and eye-opening documentary.”

In 2009 and 2011, Pennsylvania reported the highest number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the nation. From 2002 to 2011, the Commonwealth reported a total of 42,032 confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

In August 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that preliminary estimates indicate approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme ease year. This is approximately a tenfold increase from the number of cases previously reported to the CDC every year.

For more information on “Emergence” or to watch a trailer of the film, visit www.underourskin.com/sequel

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