Friday, November 11, 2011

5 News: Infected Ticks Found In New Brunswick

Dear Canadian doctors: Yes, Virginia, there IS Lyme disease in Canada. Please step up to the plate and diagnose and treat the growing number of Canadians with Lyme disease. Thank you...

Deer ticks found on Grand Manan

The provincial Health Department recently identified a breeding population of blacklegged ticks, properly Ixodes scapularis, sometimes called deer ticks, infected with Lyme disease at North Head, Grand Manan.

"We only confirmed that in the last week or so," New Brunswick's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary said in an interview from Fredericton Thursday.

Last year scientists confirmed a similar breeding population in the Millidgeville area of Saint John.

Scientists believe these creatures are moving north as the climate changes, bringing Lyme disease with it, Cleary said.



  1. Here's another article from Canada -- this one from Toronto published just hours ago:

  2. Thanks, Rita. It's good to know the big papers are picking this up. I hope it's in the Globe and Mail, too. People need to be informed and take preventative measures to protect themselves and their pets.

  3. Unfortunately my link isn't working, so I'd recommend a cut-and-paste for anyone who wants to read it:

    Since articles are sometimes archived and make inaccessible, I'm going to post it here:

    Warning: Lyme time in the GTA
    Glen Stone

    First posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 07:11 PM EST

    What’s the size of a sesame seed, but can cause untold misery and enormous controversy?

    No, it’s not Snooki’s brain — it’s the tiny Lyme tick, carrier of the dreaded Lyme disease.

    A single nip from one of these nearly invisible critters and you could wind up with fever, rashes, numbing fatigue, crushing joint pain, disabling headaches and lots of other fun stuff.

    If you don’t get antibiotics quickly (to kill the bacteria that causes the disease), Lyme disease can become a chronic illness and wreck your life for years to come.

    And the itsy-bitsy ticks that carry the bacteria are growing into a huge problem in the GTA, particularly the greener parts of the 905 belt.

    Or not, depending on whom you listen to …

    This is turning into Lyme month in Our Fair City.

    The International Lyme Society held its annual global conference in Toronto last week amid growing debate over just how much of a danger the disease poses in our area.

    On the one hand, you’ve got the Ontario Ministry of Health saying the equivalent of “Move along, people, nothing to see here!”

    The ministry says the number of Lyme disease cases is holding steady in Ontario at about 100 per year and the problem is limited to just a few areas of the province.

    But then you’ve got groups like the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation who say the problem is getting worse, but the numbers don’t show it. The foundation and other critics blame faulty testing and poor training of doctors for allowing a large number of cases to be misdiagnosed.

    Even York Region’s medical officer of health admits there may be some truth to these charges — that some doctors and tests are not picking up all the cases they should, leaving sufferers with long-term problems.


  4. (cont'd)

    Why is that? Why are people being allowed to die, suffer or go broke seeking help in the U.S. for a medical problem Ontario should be able to handle?

    Sure, there is medical controversy over the best way to test for Lyme disease — so what? Does that have to mean doctors and patients are left in the dark, with no better alternatives?

    That’s what Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey wants to know, and his petition to the Ontario government is gathering steam big time — particularly in the GTA North.

    Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan councils have all signed on to support Bailey’s call for better testing, training and public awareness.

    They all know the official numbers speak of only one or two cases a year in York Region. But they also know what their constituents are telling them — Lyme disease is a lot more common than the provincial government wants to admit.

    York Region’s Health Council has also been getting an earful from residents, and they’re going to respond. The region is conducting tests in area forests, starting this month, to find out just how widespread the infected tick problem has become.

    With the protected greenlands, buffer zones, wildlife areas, forested parks and other natural habitats throughout the 905, Lyme ticks seem to have found a welcoming home.

    And with migrating songbirds carrying infected ticks across the border from the U.S., particularly into Ontario, the fear is Lyme disease may be here to stay.

    Whatever answers York Region’s testing provides, the public and political pressure is likely to keep growing.

    Fear is turning into anger with every story of misdiagnosis, chronic pain and OHIP limits.

    Like Snooki herself, this controversy will be grabbing headlines for some time to come.

  5. "Sure, there is medical controversy over the best way to test for Lyme disease — so what? Does that have to mean doctors and patients are left in the dark, with no better alternatives?"



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