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Liittynyt: Ke Tammi 21, 2009 14:16


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"Borrelioosi leviää yhä uusille alueille Kanadassa, mutta valtio ei tee mitään kouluttaakseen lääkäreitä tunnistamaan tautia."

Lyme disease spreading across Canada: review
Updated Mon. Jun. 8 2009 5:39 PM ET

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... TopStories

CTV.ca News Staff

Lyme disease is moving its way into new parts of Canada but the government is not doing enough to track it or to teach doctors how to diagnose it, says a new report.

Lyme disease is transmitted by blacklegged ticks that feed on animal or human hosts and carry the bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Practically unheard of in the 1980s, the disease is now found across the country, as ticks move into new parts of the country aided by climate change, write researchers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"National surveillance must be able to identify this changing pattern," write Dr. Nicholas Ogden from the Public Health Agency of Canada and coauthors.

Populations of the tick that carry the bacteria that cause Lyme (Ixodes scapularis) are emerging in southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, southeastern Manitoba, New Brunswick and southern Quebec, they write. Populations of the tick that spreads the bacterium in the West, Ixodes pacificus, are also widespread in southern British Columbia.

"Current passive surveillance for tick vectors has identified new endemic areas, but additional methods are needed to precisely identify where Lyme disease is emerging in Canada," they write.

Public health officials need to better track the disease and inform both the public and doctors about the local risk level, prevention methods and the need for early diagnosis of Lyme disease, they say. They note that as of this year, doctors are required to report confirmed and suspected Lyme cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

But the problem remains that many patients with the disease are not being properly diagnosed. Robert Manten of Waterdown, Ont., is one of those who suffered for months without a diagnosis.

Manten was bitten by a deer tick on a camping trip in southern Ontario five years ago. He didn't notice the skin lesion that developed around the bite site and the bacteria were soon able to move into his blood and into his brain.

Within a couple of months, he became weak, plagued with headaches and eventually had to stop working. He went to 18 doctors, internists and neurologists and all of them missed the diagnosis, with some telling him his illness was all in his head.

Even though he had tests for everything -- including a test for Lyme disease -- all of it came back negative.

"It was a difficult time, not understanding why I was getting sick. My doctor thought it was a sinus infection but it continued to get worse," he says.

It took a year and a half and a specialized test to confirm he had Lyme disease. To treat the illness, Manten gives himself infusions of antibiotics twice a day. Four years later, he says he feels better, but is not free of the illness; he still has intense fatigue and has not returned to his job as an engineer.

Family doctor Dr. Ben Boucher, who has treated many patients with Lyme disease at his practice in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., says Manten's is a common story.

"There are a considerable number of patients being undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and therefore not treated," he says.

"It's a concern because these patients get more ill as time goes on," says Boucher, noting that patients can develop facial palsy, cardiac issues and progress to nerve damage and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

"It is quite treatable and easily treatable [with antibiotics], but as it goes on into phase 2 and 3, it becomes more difficult to treat."

Part of the problem is that the standard blood test for Lyme disease is notoriously unreliable. It fails to detect the infection 20 per cent of the time.

Its accuracy is hampered by the fact that it can take up to six weeks after infection before the blood test can pick up elevated levels of Lyme bacteria antibodies. As well, the disease can go dormant for long periods, also making an accurate diagnosis difficult.

That's why scientists are urging doctors to be on the lookout for cases based on the sudden onset of disease symptoms, rather than on Lyme test results.

"Because the specificity of serologic tests for Lyme disease may not be high, epidemiologic findings about the likelihood of exposure to ticks that transmit Lyme disease inform the serologic diagnosis, rather than the other way around," the CMAJ authors write.

With a report from CTV medical specialist Avis Favaro and producer Elizabeth St. Philip


Comments are now closed for this story

Jason from SK
I went biking in the woods yesterday and brought one of these wee buggers home with me. Even though I stripped off to my unmentionables when I got home, it was still on me an hour later when I caught it.

Always check yourself over when you get home from the outdoors, they tend to hide in hair and behind the ears.


The government has failed those of us with Lyme,we are forced to look elsewhere for diagnosis and treatment and must fight the system as well as the disease. Yes, Canada Lyme disease is here!
Be afraid...
Suffering for 6 1/2 years


Not possible. According to most who comment on ctv, climate change isn't occurring. I suggest readers just bury their heads yet again and pretend there are no ticks or lyme disease or climate change. It can't be occurring because Calgary had snow. And my job (climate change abatement strategies) can't be in existance.

Hope I wasn't to facetious.


susan iin Toronto
You've only told part of the story. It's a highly POLITICAL disease. Doctors fighting doctors. Recently there was an investigation by the Attorney General in Connecticut into conflicts of interest by those who set treatment guidelines -- ie. the infectious diseases society -- who say you can't treat the disease with long-term antibiotics. Also, many --if not most of us -- are forced to seek treatment in the United States because doctors here either don't know how to treat it or are too afraid to treat with long-term antibiotics for fear of persecution. The infectious diseases doctors are the tobacco executives of this century.


Mike Duncan B.C.
With a confirmed diagnosis, blood tests included Dr.'s on Vacouver Island just refuse to treat! Now after thousands spent, thousands lost, I will leave my business and as a tax payer I am forced to seek help in USA! All at our families expense. Not only do they not diagnose, they fail to treat! They say there is Health Care in Canada? Think again. MS, fibro, CFID's ...no, it's Lyme Disease!
Cashed in RRSP, sold investments...losing everything else. The sunami is already here!


T in AB
To Jay-TO
Way to go... topic of lyme disease, and you have to make it about climate change.

If you're quite done with that soap box...

Folks, now that we are aware of this issue, start checking yourselves and kids when you get home. I beleive some (non-toxic to humans) deterrents like permethrin are available to spray on your clothes.


Betty Jo - Mississauga
I've been battling my progressively worsening illness for 5 years. Symtomps mimicking heart attack, facial neuropathy, severe chest inflammation, pain around my skull, weakening left side and now inability to stand without pain are part of my daily routine. After a multitude of Drs from GPs, neurologists (one who said it might go away with menopause!) internists, and even an Infectious Diseases Dr from Credit Valley hospital had no clue. Finaly a Homeopathic GP suggested I be tested for Lyme.

Because of the poor testing system in Ontrio my blood was tested in Calefornia. Finally a positive diagnosis - but one that the medical community in Ontario won't accept. The fight continues.

Lyme is coming...it is outrageous that our medical community won't take notice!


Bob in Westport
While vacationing in Eastern Ontario ( I was living in Washington DC at the time), a sharp-eyed RPN at a barbecue noticed the bite ringed lesion on my leg and recommended I get it checked when I returned home. My doctor in Washington looked at the lesion and without any blood work, immediately prescribed a 6 week course of antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Sharp eyes and quick treatment!


living with lyme
Been living with pain from Lyme since 1989. 20 yrs ago there was little known about this disease but credit to my Dr (military Dr in Germany) he did not give up on me and after many test and blood work lyme was the outcome.


Lindsay Herron
I did my undergrad Thesis on the Percentage of Black Legged Ticks Found in Cats and Dogs in Western New Brsunwick That Were Postive for Lyme Disease. In this study I used the help of local veterinarians. A few were in denial of this disease all together and made statements that there is no such think in NB. However, as assumed my study proved them wrong. At a 6% rate of all the cats and dogs that come in that call there was postivity for the bacteria. This is an up an coming illness that society is oblivious to and should be made aware. Not only can this bacteria make someone sick but could debiliate them for life or even end in death.


LymeMom Manitoba
You can catch Lyme disease in your Manitoba backyard. It is an absolutely devastating disease when not caught early. Far too often it is not caught early. It is often caught after running highly specific blood tests in the US. And then you usually must seek treatment in the US with a lyme-experienced physician. All expenses are out-of-pocket. This disease makes you very ill and very poor in a very short time. The devastation to your health is astounding. Prevention and education is essential.


B in Kemptville
Lyme Disease is here in Eastern Ontario although officials want to ignore it!! Two years ago after removing a large tick from our dog who was on a walk with me in the woods (Eastern Ontario), the dog and tick tested positive. A federal government lab did the blood work which was only done because I offered to pay for the cost of the test. After a quick dose of anti-biotics the dog is still healthy but the feeling at the time was no real problem exists in this area. Yeah right!


Wendy Ajax, On
I have suffered for 21 years with Lyme Disease after being bitten in the Sutton area.

Seven years ago I had to travel to Long Island New York for a diagnosis & start of treatment. This cost us thousands of dollars but our Ministry Of Health claimed I could get treatment in Ontario. I already had this infection undiagnosed in Ontario for 12 years before being refered to a U.S. lyme literate doctor.


Shaun Burke
This is nothing short of a disaster to what is happening with the Canadian Medical system.... Government has to seriously look at this issue and begin to take aggresive action to finding answers and possibly preventing the wasting of millions of tax payers dollars as well as lives of so many.


I have been hearing about those tics for at least fifteen years. Lyme tics aren't a new concern in the gulf islands of b.c.
I was visiting northern california about twelve years ago and a friend of my host had traveled from several counties away to use an ozone/ water therapy tank- to soak her hands and forearms in as a form of lyme disease symptom therapy . The guest told me that she had lyme tic disease and that she had no medical coverage for expenses and that that situation was not uncommon for an average americans.
I would propose that canadian citezens take more responsibility for and control their health more by reading and learning about nutrition, health and natural health and prevention, rather than complaining about the government's lack of information etc.
If we gather up enough information about lyme tic disease and share it and so on then at least we can get a head start on how to treat ourselves, we have medical subsidies available.+
Good work.


Nancy: Keep your cover (hat) on.
Keep your cover on.

That means where a hat, it protects yuopr skin from the sun and your hair from ticks that are nasty even if they do not have Lime disease.


Wanda Wilson
Lyme disease is here to stay. It is a devastating disease that affects many individuals and families. The current testing in Ontario is totally inadequate. The majority of tests come back negative. As a result, many patients are mis-diagnosed and continue to be sick. Unfortuately there are some who are mis-diagnosed and receive treatment(s) that may be counter productive to their health issue. There needs to be more appropriate testing from reputable labs in the US. The Ontario lab should be working together with these reputable labs in order to have more accurate testing. Our blood supply is at risk!!! Before donating blood, Lyme should be ruled out. There is a need to educate the medical community on what to look for when seeing patients with multiple symptoms who are not getting better. There should also be something in place in order to educate the public at large about this disease.

Lyme is very political. There needs to be some safeguards in place for physicians who are treating chronic Lyme so they can continue to treat without the fear of having their licence taken away for treating a disease some think does not exist. Physicians should be allowed to use clinical judgments when diagnosing Lyme and also be allowed to use non-pharmaceutical aproaches if they feel it is necessary and helpful to the patient.

Until these issues are addressed, individuals, families will continue to suffer, will be unable to get the help they need and may have to go outside the country in order to get they treatment they so desperately need. This is unacceptable!!!

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