Saskatchewan, Canada: Lyme is there and spreading
[CanLyme Note: Lyme disease is not new to Saskatchewan, but it is spreading. Physicians need to be aware and willing to diagnose and, treat clinically based upon the patient response and not a restrictive set of unproven guidelines that limit treatment periods, and they must be able to do so without consequence from their College of Physicians and Surgeons. Current Canadian lab test tests for acute and late Lyme disease are no better than a toss of the coin and cannot be used to determine that a person is not infected with Lyme disease.]
Staff at the Prairie North Health Region is asking residents to help them keep track of ticks, because some that carry lyme disease are showing up in places they hadn’t before.
Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) Medical Health Officer Mandiangu Nsungu said although most ticks in Saskatchewan aren’t the types that transmit Lyme disease, distributions are changing. Disease-carrying ticks are now establishing themselves in places they formerly weren’t recorded.
Nsungu said the administrators at the health region ask anyone who finds a tick on them to bring it to a public health office for testing. The surveillance program identifies the type of tick and tests it for lyme disease to keep track.
“The most important thing is to make sure we continue our surveillance in such a way that we have the up-to-date situation all the time,” he said.