Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/826

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106 STAT. 5384 PROCLAMATION 6459-^ULY 20, 1992 Proclamation 6459 of July 20, 1992 Lyme Disease Awareness Week, 1992 By the President of the United states of America A Proclamation At a time when millions of Americans are taking advantage of warm summer weather to enjoy hiking, gardening in the backyard, and other outdoor activities, it is fitting that we remind ourselves of the health threat posed by Lyme disease. Discovered in 1975 by a rheumatologist who noted a high incidence of arthritis among patients living in wooded areas in and near Lyme, Connecticut, Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans by the bite of a very small tick. These ticks feed primarily on deer and mice—although they may also be found on cats, dogs, and birds—and individuals who work or play in wooded, brushy areas are prime targets for tick bites. While it is most prevalent in the coastal Northeast and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, northern California, and Oregon, Lyme disease has been reported in almost every State. Hence, all Americans should be aware of the importance of prevention and early detection. Persons who spend time in wooded areas are advised to take precautions against being bitten by the tick that carries Lyme disease. These measures include using tick repellents, avoiding long grass or brush, covering up well with light-colored slacks and long-sleeved shirts, and carefully examining oneself for ticks after returning from the out-of-doors. Early symptoms of Lyme disease may include a red, bull's-eye-shaped rash at the site of a tick bite, headache, low-grade fever, joint pain, and fatigue. Fortunately, when the disease is detected early, most persons respond well to treatment with antibiotics. If left undetected, however, Lyme disease can lead to chronic arthritis and to serious problems of the nervous system and heart. Therefore, persons who are at risk of contracting Lyme disease and who exhibit symptoms are urged to consult their physician. Federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, along with numerous physicians and scientists in the private sector, are continuing the fight against Lyme disease. Researchers are developing more reliable diagnostic laboratory tests, as well as new therapies for the disease. They are also making progress ? toward a vaccine while studying new ways to eradicate the tick-borne bacterium that causes Lyme disease. In support of these efforts, the Congress, by Public Law 102-319, has designated the week beginning July 26, 1992, as "Lyme Disease Aware- £ ness Week" and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning July 26, 1992, as Lyme Disease Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities in order to enhance i their understanding of Lyme disease.