Take the test

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 8:00pm

The Medical Center is offering free Lyme disease and babesiosis testing on Monday, Oct. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It would be a good idea for as many island residents who are able to take advantage of this opportunity.

Those who experience Lyme disease first-hand can attest to its sometimes devastating effects. Given that the testing is being offered to not only see if you have had one of the viruses, but is also being done as part of research being conducted by researchers from Yale and Columbia Universities to better understand the long-term impacts of the diseases, is all the more reason to participate.

The results can also inform a vote that will be taken next May at the annual Financial Town Meeting. The Deer Task Force is planning on asking taxpayers to fund the deer tail buy-back program, which has been funded in part by private donations.  The town’s allocation has been $13,000 a year, but the full cost of the program is $40,000. 

Whether the results for Lyme and babesiosis in our local population are high or low, the data will be worth considering. If we seem to be making headway in culling the deer population and lessening the risk of Lyme disease, taxpayers may then see the value in funding that continuing fight. If the results go in the opposite direction, then funding the deer tail buy-back program may be a necessary step toward reversing an unwelcome trend.

Either way, getting tested is a good idea, and it will be free on Monday, Oct. 9 at the Medical Center.