New law will educate people on Lyme disease

I am thrilled that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the Lyme Disease Information Disclosure Act into law. Raising awareness about this terrible disease would not have been possible without the help of Del. Barbara Comstock, who introduced this important legislation, and co-patrons David Ramadan and Tim Hugo.

The debilitating effects of Lyme disease are difficult to fathom if you have not seen them firsthand, as I have since a family friend and mother of five was infected on three separate occasions.

One of the only chances for recovery is an early diagnosis, but current testing methods don't always provide this opportunity. There is also a high rate of false negatives in testing for Lyme because the testing mechanism is based on the evidence of antibodies, which are not always present and vary based on the date of infection.

Not only that, the test is administered in such a way that the patient may not understand these shortcomings. It's not as simple as placing a disclaimer on a box because the test is conducted at a medical facility and not at home while purchased over the counter.A greater understanding of the test can help with making early diagnoses, increasing opportunities for treatment when necessary, and planning for long-term care.

While this bill will not help cure those already infected, it will help inform patients of the propensity of false negatives in testing for Lyme, and will encourage a patient to retest if their symptoms persist. Many patients who live with these symptoms are misdiagnosed and led to believe their symptoms do not exist or are the cause of another medical aliment.

John Dowd


Islamic countries deny basic rights to women

Re: "Islam gives women the right to an education," From Readers, March 13

I wonder if Janice Prucker has spent even one day in a Muslim-majority nation as a woman.I have.

When one has that experience, and cannot enjoy the dignity that comes with even the most basic of freedoms like driving a car, one couldn't care less about intellectual arguments concerning whether the Prophet Muhammad approved of female education or how many Muslim countries have female rulers.

It's unfortunate that so many Americans who have had the luxury of a lifetime of freedom and have never endured one day under an oppressive regime are offended when "arrogant" Americans speak out against such systems. Their time would be better spent trying to really understand why most people who have a choice choose to flock to countries whose values are Judeo-Christian rather than Islam-based.

Angela McIntosh


Obama polices are wrecking American families

Re: "Obama policies strengthen marriage, families," From Readers, March 12

Edd Doerr says President Obama's policies strengthen families. If making health care unaffordable, reducing employees' work hours so they don't qualify for an employer's health care coverage, and helping to keep unemployment levels high strengthens families, he is right.

If driving energy prices artificially high by shutting down the coal industry, curtailing oil production and oil imports from Canada to drive transportation and food prices unnecessarily high, raising taxes higher and higher, and spending us into oblivion strengthens families, he is also right.

If utter failure to educating student (over 60 percent of urban students drop out before completing high school) strengthens families, and pretending that homosexuals partners are the same as married couples, he is right again.

But Doerr is wrong on all counts. Obama is the nation's chief family wrecker.

William Luksic