CanLyme submits letter in support of private members Bill C-442, “An Act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy”

Summary and Opinion on Bill C-442, “An Act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy”

Lyme disease (borreliosis) can be contracted in any part of Canada through migratory birds that transplant ticks randomly. The ticks themselves are establishing populations more and more frequently across Canada with ever increasing rates of infection with Lyme disease. A national strategy to develop an appropriate response clearly needs to be put in place. Bill C-442 compels the federal government to include representatives of the patient groups along with their experts and the medical community, in developing a made-in-Canada strategy for Lyme disease. This is long overdue.

Research results from the Public Health Agency of Canada have caused the agency to drastically alter their forecast, which now states 80% of Canadians will be living in fully endemic areas for Lyme disease in just 7 years time.

At present there is no strategy in place in Canada that includes the victims and those who help them. Victims of any disease are the ultimate stakeholder in any relevant policy.

National reporting of cases has been in effect since only 2009 and is very questionable in its ability to truly measure the prevalence of borreliosis in the human population due to the type of  tests employed by laboratories Canada wide. These tests are limited to only one strain of one species of Lyme bacteria despite requests from victim groups and experts to incorporate multiple strains in the tests, similar to what several United States and European independent labs do.

These independent labs, certified and accredited and run by PhD immunologists and microbiologists, have far better results in terms of patient outcome. CanLyme has seen this time

and time again over the past 9 years. Last year Health Canada acknowledged that the existing two-tier test for Lyme disease cannot be used to reliably detect acute Lyme infections, and should never be used to rule out Lyme disease.

The recent revisions of annual Lyme disease incidence in the U.S. from 30,000 to 300,000 cases underscores the likely vast under-diagnosis of Lyme disease here in Canada. Canada’s National Microbiology Lab agrees that there is a disease explosion but continues to rely heavily on policy imported from the United States.

Bill C-442 compels the federal government to include the representatives of the patient groups as well as the medical community to develop a made-in-Canada strategy for Lyme disease. This is a positive development.

The national strategy will start by convening a conference with all stakeholders within 6 months to :

1) enhance data collection for tracking, including incidence rates and economic impact (many

large employers of outside workers are already adversely affected)

2) establish guidelines for prevention, diagnostics and treatment

3) create standardized educational material

4) publish a report on the national strategy within one year on a government website

This is a Bill that all parties should support. The issue crosses all party lines… what is done now will impact each of you, your children and grandchildren and all of your constituents.

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation urges your support for this bill.

For more information, visit canlyme.org or contact

jimwilson@telus.net

Jim Wilson, President

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

  1. Sylvia Seinen on said:

    Our daughter was out spraying noxious weeds and got bitten by a tick, she remembered, however for a few days was lethargic and not at all “herself” she had a red swelling on her body, we were fortunate the doctors here figured out what it was in good time….. she is fine…

  2. Pauline Grange on said:

    Please pass this bill. My auntie was wrongly diagnosed and now suffers from her major orgins shutting down. Her doctor in the little town treated her for eczema!!!!! Education is always the key!!!!

  3. Linda Neilly on said:

    Now a senior, I was born in Long Point, ON. It’s only now that Lyme Disease is suspected for several neurological problems that i have had for years, but a recent ELISA test produced negative returns-so, no Western Blot test for me. I’m far enough advanced in many of the effects of this disease that i don’t imagine enough antibodies R present to obtain a positive reading anyway.
    Now living in Toronto, i’m looking for help south of the 49th. I will be seeing an ND soon, but really would like long term antibiotic treatment to be available.

    PLEASE pass this bill. Why R Canadians being treated so cruelly? We seem to have heaps of compassion for people from everywhere else.

  4. Wayne Laurie on said:

    I have had my life ruined over the past 8 years by Chronic Lyme DIsease. I am being treated by a Lyme literate Dr. in the US. Thanks to her efforts I am back to work fulltime, but I definitely don’t lead a normal existence. My joints are constantly aching, and I feel like I have a bad Flu 24/7. If it weren’t for my loving family I would have given up a long time ago !!!!! This is far beyond Cruelty, it is a case of the government sweeping people under the rug, as they won’t admit that they don’t know what they’re doing in regard to Lyme Disease. They should be ashamed of themselves!!! Please pass Bill C-442 !!!

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