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With the spread of tick-borne illnesses reaching epidemic proportions on Long Island, more than 60 residents attended a forum last Wednesday to discuss the public health crisis and the measures being taken to safeguard the community. “Grappling with Ticks” was the third in a series of 10 panel discussions on newsworthy topics affecting Southold and Riverhead towns hosted by Times Review Media Group.
Content director Grant Parpan, who moderated the event, called the discussion “essential” prior to introducing the panel: Stony Brook University researcher Jorge Benach; Dr. Anna-Marie Wellins of the Medical Advisory Panel of the Regional Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; Jeff Standish, Southold Town’s director of public works; Craig Jobes, environmental analyst for Southold Town; April Boitano, president of Tick Wise Education Inc; and Jennifer Petrocelli, general manager of The Preston House & Hotel, who suffers from Lyme disease and advocates for awareness and treatment.
The multi-layered, two-hour conversation zeroed in on three main talking points: health and epidemiology, hunting and the role of deer in the spread of tick-borne infections, and actionable advice for protection against disease.