Radio Canada International – Lyme disease increasing and mishandled

 By Lynn Desjardins |
Sunday 4 May, 2014

As Canada gets warmer more disease-carrying ticks are spreading Lyme disease and advocates say not enough is being done to help those who are stricken.

People going undiagnosed

It’s not clear how many Canadians have caught Lyme disease because current testing detects only some strains and many people are going undiagnosed, says Jim Wilson president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme), a patient advocacy group.  Better tests are available and inexpensive he says and need to be used to improve detection.

Lyme disease causes flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain. The Public Health Service of Canada website says Lyme disease causes an expanding rash in 70-80 per cent of people. Wilson says that many patients who contact his organization never had rashes and a new study of patients in Nova Scotia shows only 18 per cent had a rash. He concludes the service needs to change its message to the public and to doctors.

Listen to interview

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