Lyme disease meeting helps raise awareness in Abbotsford

 By Alex Butler – Abbotsford News

Published: November 15, 2013 8:00 AM 
Updated: November 15, 2013 8:58 AM

For those suffering from Lyme disease, finding relief for a long list of symptoms can be a struggle. 

More than 120 people, many suffering from Lyme disease, attended a public meeting on Thursday evening at Cascade Community Church to learn more about the disease from experts and activists. 

When asked by presenters who at the meeting had Lyme disease, about 40 people raised their hands. Many more indicated that they were the friends or families of those affected. 

Gwen Barlee, policy director for the Vancouver Wilderness Committee and Lyme disease activist, told the crowd that the number of Lyme cases is under-reported by Health Canada. 

In 2011, Health Canada reported 258 cases of Lyme disease across the country. At that time, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States reported 30,000 cases. 

In August of this year, the CDC raised its predictions of yearly diagnoses from 30,000 to 300,000….

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