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Ticks Creep Into Canada, Bringing Lyme Disease (and Confusion) With Them

March 7th, 2018

JOANNE SEIFF, a resident of Manitoba, contracted Lyme disease a couple of years ago but didn’t remember pulling off the tick that bit her; nor did she have the telltale bullseye rash of a tick bite. Her husband Jeff Marcus, who grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, about an hour and a half from the eponymous town of Lyme, Connecticut, recognized her symptoms immediately because Lyme disease was common there.

Canadian doctors, however, were not convinced.

“Even though we had been telling people for months that she had Lyme disease and that all she needed was about four weeks of antibiotics, we were seeing specialist after specialist, and getting the same run-around,” Marcus says. “She was getting sicker and sicker.” At their wits’ end, they paid thousands of dollars for testing at a certified lab in the United States, which finally convinced a Canadian doctor to treat her.

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Moriarty gives us an example of how easily academic researchers that study Lyme but don’t see or treat patients have been able to derail the issue for the past 30-years. Several major health insurers decided in the 1990s that treating Lyme was too expensive and bad for their bottom lines, so they paid International Disease Society of America [IDSA]-affiliated doctors – who were researching, not treating, Lyme to establish arbitrary guidelines in 2000 that said the disease could be treated with 28 days of antibiotics.

    Currently 28 Texans are suing 6 insurance companies and 7 academics researchers belonging to the IDSA for colluding to redefine Lyme as a simple nuisance disease and using the tests and new definitions they developed along with treatment guidelines to deny or limit treatment and benefits. https://www.courthousenews.com/insurers-accused-conspiring-deny-lyme-disease-coverage/.

    The IDSA’s thirty-year fixation on the acute stage of Lyme (the rash) after early
    treatment conveniently avoids the late stage manifestations of Lyme, which are
    crippling to the patient and unresponsive to short-term antibiotic treatment. We are
    dealing with a serious life-threatening/ life-altering infection misclassified as a
    simple nuisance disease with consequences that belong to the same health threat
    category as HIV/ AIDS, Zika, cancer etc. The IDSA/ PHAC/ AMMI inaccurate
    conceptualization of disease has influenced the nation’s perceptions and response.
    Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is simply a fabricated medical condition disguising treatment failure.

    The patient voice will play no part in Dr. Moriarty’s research group’s decisions or findings as they try to maintain the status quo. There have been no advancements in the past 30 years and the status quo hasn’t done us any good. Politicians continue to cede responsibility and money to the same groups like Dr. Moriarty’s and the Association of Medical Microbiologists and Infectious Disease Canada [AMMI] that are responsible for the problem. Opinions and not science are driving Lyme borreliosis policy in Canada. Like the tobacco and energy industries doubt is the product that this group is giving us. Syphilis is a legitimate disease and serves as an historic model for Lyme so why is Lyme treated differently?

    Canadians spoke loudly and clearly in Ottawa that we want a made-in Canada solution and we do not want our health care system run by the U.S. Insurance industry. For Canadians, being unable to access timely and/or appropriate effective care in Canada for Lyme disease is unacceptable and a travesty. New progressive national standards haven’t been set and PHAC have made it clear that none are planned and if nothing is done here we may be in the same position 25 years from now. Canadians can’t understand why we can cure Ebola half a world away but do nothing about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

    The opinions are those of the author who was diagnosed and treated for chronic Lyme in the U.S.

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