Cochrane, Alberta: Bill C-442 leaves Lyme sufferers hopeful for change

Thursday, Dec 18, 2014 06:00 am    By: Lindsay Seewalt

Last May, the Eagle ran a story on the controversies surrounding Lyme disease and diagnosis and Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) — the disease caused by infected ticks, largely spread by migratory birds, which is said to turn into CLD when overlooked and misdiagnosed.

The story received tremendous response online and was one of the most-read stories of the year.

On Dec. 12, a third and final reading was given to Bill C-442, the ‘Federal Framework on Lyme Disease’.

It was passed unanimously by the Senate and now awaits Royal Assent to become law; although the bill was introduced as a private members bill — and these often don’t become law.

For the community of Lyme and CLD sufferers and researchers, this seems to be one small victory following years of being overlooked by the medical community — through what is referred to as dated, inaccurate testing (the western blot); the denial of the existence of CLD; and the emphasis that Lyme disease is only caused by one bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme community maintains there are numerous bacteria species and strains carried on or in ticks that can cause Lyme).

But the battle is only beginning.

Jim Wilson, founder of CanLyme (the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation), along with Green Party leader Elizabeth May, was instrumental in moving the bill forward; this is the first piece of Green Party legislation in Canadian history.

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