[CanLyme note: A comment that was in the print version of the National Post newspaper has been edited out of the online version, it followed this quote…. “The majority of children … never knew they were bitten by a tick. Arthritis was the very first presenting symptom of their Lyme disease,” said Dr. Elizabeth Stringer, a rheumatologist at Halifax’s IWK Health Centre and co-author of the study. “There have been some families who have been surprised, definitely.” … this is the edited out quote from Dr. Stringer… “She said it has also marked the first time she had seen patients whose arthritis was caused by a bacterial infection. “It’s not like we learn about Lyme disease when we’re in training.”]
Tom Blackwell | April 3, 2014 |
As the ticks that spread Lyme disease push ever further into Canada, doctors are starting to notice an unusual fallout from the growing threat: a spike in the number of people seeking help for arthritis triggered by the bacteria.
A new study from Halifax , to be presented at an American College of Rheumatology conference in Florida this weekend, documented 17 child arthritis patients, most of whom surfaced over the last two years just in Lunenburg county.
Few had experienced any other symptoms and most had no idea they had Lyme until, complaining of swollen, painful joints, they were referred to a rheumatologist. Once blood tests indicated they had the infection, some were also diagnosed with related neurological problems.
In southern Ontario, a public-health office near one of the province’s several Lyme-disease areas has seen a five-fold increase in cases in the last year, many of the patients experiencing arthritis.