Honoring Lyme Disease Awareness Month with a Multi-Year Plan to Change the Lyme Disease Status Quo

As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Lyme Innovation Initiative and LymeX Innovation Accelerator Multi-Year Plan to change the Lyme Disease status quo. Lyme.

The multi-year plan includes five years of HHS Lyme innovation goals, impacts to date, and future activities to advance Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases with Lyme disease patients at the center of the HHS innovation process. HHS. Launched in 2018, the HHS Lyme Innovation initiative harnesses the power of collaboration, data-driven innovation, and emerging technologies to address the serious threats of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Lyme disease is more common vector-borne diseases in the United States, with approximately 63,000 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2022. But the reported cases tell only part of the story: CDC estimates Approximately 476,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the United States each year. Due to changes in land use patterns, global travel and trade, and a changing climate, the threat of existing and emerging tick-borne diseases continues to grow.

“The HHS Lyme Innovation initiative has made groundbreaking progress by accelerating patient-informed innovations for diagnosis, treatment and care,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Medicine Leith J. States, MD, MPH, MBA , FACPM. As described in the Multi-Year Plan, HHS Lyme Innovation is a broad set of approaches with innovation and partnership activities.

Ongoing efforts will continue to advance Lyme disease diagnosis, open data for Lyme Innovation, human-centered design for Lyme Innovation, and scientific understanding of Chronic diseases associated with Lyme infection.

The Multiannual Plan is aligned with the National Public Health Strategy to Prevent and Control Vector-Borne Diseases in People (National Vector-Borne Disease Strategy), published earlier this year. The National Vector-Borne Disease Strategy, the first interagency effort of its kind, identifies and outlines federal priorities to detect, prevent, respond to, and control vector-borne diseases and conditions in the United States.

HHS and CDC are leading execution of the strategy in consultation with agencies across the federal government. Successful implementation of the National Vector-Borne Disease Strategy depends on strong collaboration within government and with external partners. On May 23, 2024, HHS will present updates on the National Vector-Borne Disease Strategy via a livestream at https://www.hhs.gov/live/index.html.

Making progress in Lyme disease will require continued collaboration, support, leadership, and excellence in innovation and implementation. Collaboration inside and outside the federal government is necessary to protect the nation and save lives. Government transparency is a priority for the HHS Lyme Innovation Initiative, which is built on a foundation of open science, open data, and open innovation.

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