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Virginia first state to require Lyme test disclosure

Daily staff report

When Governor Bob McDonnell signed the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act of 2013 into law, Virginia became the first state in the nation to require health care providers to give written disclosure to people tested for the disease that testing can produce false negatives.

The National Capital Lyme Disease Association released the information, after being a major advocate for the legislation. The association said that current Lyme disease laboratory testing can produce false negatives, especially in the early state of the disease.

Monte Skall, the association's executive director, released a statement on the milestone.

"History was made with the signing of this bill," she said in the statement. "This Lyme legislation will have a direct impact on the diagnosis and early treatment of this debilitating disease."

The release from the association called the legislation a "successful grassroots effort."

Several delegates and senators were applauded in the release, as some took a firm stance in support of the bill. Senator Jill Vogel (R-27) was among those who not only supported the bill, but spoke on the senate floor in favor of it.

The law goes into effect on July 1, and was called a "great step in raising awareness about [Lyme disease] and the high incidence of patients receiving false negative tests" by Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-34), according to the release.

The National Capital Lyme Disease Association is an organization with more than 3,000 members, including 15 chapters in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

For more information about the association, go to natcaplyme.org.


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