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Tick-Talk, a WHMP/Daily Hampshire Gazette/NCTV Community Forum
Tick-Talk, a WHMP/Daily Hampshire Gazette/NCTV Community Forum

NORTHAMPTON — Tick Talk: What You Can Do About Lyme Disease, a community forum exploring the prevalence of Lyme disease, prevention and treatment, will be held Tuesday, June 17, 6 to 8 p.m., at JFK Middle School in Northampton, hosted by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, WHMP Radio, and Northampton Community TV.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting the number of Lyme cases diagnosed annually at around 300,000. It can cause serious joint, heart, mental health and central nervous system problems if not recognized early and treated appropriately. Some doctors say there is no such thing as chronic Lyme disease, while some patients fear that there is no way to cure chronic Lyme disease. What if the truth is somewhere in between?

The forum will feature a panel of experts with various perspectives on Lyme disease, including Dr. Charles Brummer; Sheila Statlender, clinical psychologist; Stephen Rich, professor of microbiology, who runs a research laboratory with primary focus on human malaria and tick-borne disease (including Lyme); Maria Malaguti, executive director of Lyme Disease Resource Center Inc. in Northampton; and patients who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

The forum will be moderated by Gazette Web Editor Kristin Palpini, WHMP broadcasters Bob Flaherty, Denise Vozella and Bill Newman and broadcast live on WHMP and NCTV.

Brummer is a physician with a practice in Northampton specializing in alternative and integrative medicine. He treats many people diagnosed with Lyme disease. Statlender, who has a private practice in Newton, is a frequent speaker at national conferences on Lyme disease and is an expert in the matter of mental health issues as a symptom of Lyme infection. She has been active in legislation efforts to ensure adequate medical treatment for patients with tick-borne illnesses. Rich runs a research laboratory with active programs aimed at understanding and controlling vector-borne diseases with primary focus on human malaria and tick-borne disease (including Lyme).

There will be opportunity for audience questions and comments. The forum will be aired live on WHMP and NCTV. It will be repeated Wednesday morning at 8 on WHMP, and rebroadcast on NCTV.

Join the conversation from home or out on the go. People can get live tweets from the forum by following #ticktalk. Use the hashtag to tweet comments or questions to the forum, too, or call them in to WHMP Radio during the event at 586-7140. Selected comments and questions will be used during the discussion.

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