Rep. Deanne Mazzochi
State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has been appointed to a bipartisan task force entrusted with advising the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) “on the latest research, diagnosis, treatment options and education options involving children suffering from pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS),” an announcement stated.
Still in her first-term in Springfield, Mazzochi has a history of working in the area of bacterial infections and with drugs targeting autoimmune diseases. More recently, she was also a chief legislative sponsor of House Bill 3264, which seeks to reduce the risk of staphylococcal and MRSA infections among patients during hospital stays.
“Streptococcal bacterial infections, which cause strep throat, are incredibly common in children,” Mazzochi said in an Aug. 14 press release. “They can trigger horrible responses without correct and timely treatment. One of them are PANDAs, which result when the staph bacteria covers itself with proteins that mimics the shape of ones in your own body, and tricks your immune system into targeting your body’s healthy cells.”
Mazzochi added her experiences have taught her finding the right treatment for children suffering from PANDAs can be a challenge.
“I look forward to identifying ways to improve our children’s clinical outcomes, and identifying legislation needed to put those goals into practice,” she said. “No family should have to endure this; if anything, we should be opening doors to the latest medical advancements.”
The press release stated the task force was created after a DuPage County family had issues securing access to medicine and treatments needed for their child.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to help all Illinois families whose children experience these medical complications secure better outcomes; and hopefully find better policies and practices to prevent cases from happening in the future,” she said.
House District 47 covers parts of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Westmont and Hinsdale.