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CBC radio show BC Almanac interviews doctors with opposing opinions on Lyme treatment, Lyme testing

May 25th, 2016

Interesting radio show with Dr. Liz Zubek, who treats based upon the patient’s symptoms, and Dr. William Bowie, of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease of Canada (AMMI) who suggests the entire province of British Columbia has a 0.5 % tick infection rate, which is scientifically impossible. In the 1940’s Dr. Gregson was showing that you must judge ticks, and hence their infections, on a micro-geographic level.  Scientist Bob (Robert) Lane in California, from where our BC ticks come from on migratory birds, showed very clearly that there is wide differences from county to county of tick infection rates. The largest population in BC lives in an area of likely higher tick infection rates than what are being reported.

Dr. Bowie uses his non-science method of diagnosing patients he has never seen, and, he refuses to study them in an open and transparent fashion. Instead he declares them as Lyme disease free based upon nothing. Your tax dollars are used to pay his salary yet he refuses to sit with you and your experts to design better policy.

Here is his quote from the radio show that you can listen to below,  “I want to stress again, that as tragic as these stories are, these folks, by and large, do not have Lyme disease, and have never had Lyme disease and so there is this misplaced focus on that label, primarily because of this lab in the United States that results have no meaning, but also this tendency of some so called Lyme-literate physician to diagnosis this on the basis of clinical grounds”.

US lab results, labs that are run by PhD microbiologists, have no meaning according to him.  This is another anti-science statement because there has never been a study powered to measure labs against wild strain, geographically variable Borrelia bacteria. Without that, Dr. Bowie’s statements are only opinion, not science.

We challenge Dr. Bowie to actually study these labs and the BC CDC lab against localized well-characterized blood samples working with our very qualified PhD experts.

If Dr. Bowie actually had concern for patient’s tragedy, he would investigate why they only get their health back by ignoring the guidelines he so rigidly follows. He would do this study working with patient appointed Lyme experts, and his experts to ensure the design of the research will give unbiased results.

We challenge him to work with our experts on an equal level to design such a research study.

Dr. Bowie fails to mention that he has little experience in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease because using his influence and methodology, BC only confirms a handful of patients each year who are dispersed amongst thousands of doctors. He fails to mention that evidence is clear, the tests he has so much faith in are no better than a coin toss, and the test kits he relies upon are from large for-profit kit manufacturers dictated to by the United States Center for Disease Control, not any Canadian robust transparent evaluation.

Listen here to full interview

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  1. Here is what one Doctor emailed me about lyme….

    The usefulness of any test depends upon the probability that the disease the doctor is testing for is the cause of the person’s Illness. For example,testing for the absence of brain wave waves (the electroencephalogram test ) as a sure sign the person is dead is not going to be helpful in a person who is alive and well.So the usefulness of the Lyme test available to MB doctors to test for Lyme in its late stages ,when it yields few false negative tests ,will depend upon the probablilty that a person’s chronic complaints are due to neuroborreliosis. In a person with a chronic problem that is due to late Lyme disease, the Mb test will be adequate.

    So, if you’ve been unwell for a long time and are still testing negative for Lyme with the MB test, I’d suggest you and your physician continuing your search looking for an alternative diagnosis,not a ‘better’ test.

  2. Amazing logic… let us keep running a poor test expecting a different result. The tests have a very high false negative rate and two labs can’t even get the same result on the same sample, and individual ‘approved’ labs cannot even get same result. Current lab tests in Canada for late Lyme disease are no better than a toss of a coin. For early Lyme they are much worse.

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