Calgary Herald : Province increases tick monitoring as cases of Lyme disease rise

By Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald May 20, 2014 7:28 PM

With the number of confirmed Lyme disease cases rising in Alberta, the provincial government is going into the field for the first time to try to get a handle on whether the ticks that can transmit the bacteria to humans are surviving through the winter.

Alberta Health is also steaming forward with a program launched last year that asks residents to send in ticks plucked from their skin for analysis.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. James Talbot, said it’s too soon to say whether the blacklegged ticks that can carry the Lyme disease bacteria are established in Alberta. As part of a pilot project, last week Alberta Health tested a number of locations near Edmonton for signs of nymphs, or young ticks, Talbot said.

A juvenile form would indicate the blacklegged ticks survived the winter, rather than arriving in Alberta from elsewhere — a warning sign for the province, said Talbot.

The results of the project are expected later this summer. The “submit-a-tick” program, launched last year, is also expected to provide tick surveillance information.

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1 Comment

  • Suffering & Exhausted says:

    i live in an area that is geographically perfect for the Lyme tick’s northern survival, I have been deathly ill for over three years and in the last 9 months have found out that I have Neighbors with Lyme & they know a Whole lot of people in the area with it as well.
    Yet we cannot get treatment, but is it any wonder why when according to the Infectious Disease doctor I saw about 1 1/5 years ago only to be told that “did we understand that there has NEVER BEEN a HUMAN case of Lyme Disease in the history of Alberta”
    Well “Doc” I beg to differ, I had extensive testing for various disease’s yet nothing concrete but when I
    dare to point out that I am experiencing 55+ symptoms out of 75 for Lyme, the medical community can’t seem to see past the end of their nose, because according to them I cannot possibly have Lyme a Disease one reason being is the anti body test came back negative! Yet I have personally had 2 western blot tests done and both came back positive! But the doctors won’t even look at them because it was done out of country. I didn’t have a choice to have them done here even after I contacted the Provincial Lab and offered to PAY for the test myself!!!! They were only interested in “why would you want to pay? You live in Alberta so it would be covered. It may be covered but that does not mean you can have it done!!
    So my point to all this is, come on over to my house and even my Neighbors and do a tick drag, I’ll make the coffee. Maybe if someone who is open & uncorrupted can find a Lyme infected tick somewhere in my neighbourhood then maybe & that’s a Big maybe those of us living in North Central Alberta could at least start dreaming about possibly getting help from our medical community right here at home??????? And I can only hope that that help comes before it’s too late for far too many of us 🙁