June 3, 2018 Chronicle Herald – Public health failing to address Lyme disease crisis, says author
From the article titled “Public Health failing to address Lyme disease crisis says author” this is a quote
“Heather Fairbairn, a spokeswoman with the province’s public health department, issued a statement to the Herald last week saying in part, that Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are “easily preventable.” She says the province’s website on tick safety provides easy steps to help reduce contact with ticks and prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases.
The department also says the disease is curable with a course of antibiotics whether treated early or later after a confirmed laboratory test.”
Lyme disease (borreliosis) prevention is all about reduction of risk, but unless you isolate yourself in a bubble you are at risk of Lyme borreliosis and other tick-borne diseases globally. To make the claim that it is easily preventable suggests that Nova Scotia has special powers that no other country in the world has. There is no effective vaccine on the market and due to the antigenic variation of the organism there possibly will not be one for some time according to experts. To “easily” prevent Lyme borreliosis you would have to; prevent birds from flying, other animals from moving, kill all our pets, stay off our lawns, wear hazmat suits, etc.. It is important to be aware and reduce your risk, but to suggest this is easily preventable flies in the face of reality and by implication blames the person for not being careful. The record number of human cases reflects that prevention is not easy.
Also, to suggest Lyme borreliosis is easily treated at both early and late stages is simply a false statement that ignores decades of evidence-based science and millions of patient’s realities around the globe.
Due to very poor diagnostic tests approved in Canada, and poor and inappropriate medical professional education most patients are not diagnosed early so are already in the late stage by the time a diagnosis is made. They are usually sick and unable to work. What is available in Canada for treatment is restricted to too short a period of time in many cases. Evidence is abundant that the bacteria can survive the officially recommended treatment protocols but patients are denied treatment beyond that. Physicians who defy the poor guidelines and treat based upon the patient are at great risk in Canada of having their medical licence put in jeopardy. This is substantiated by the nearly 100% of Canadian doctors who have been policed out of practice or away from diagnosing and treating Lyme disease by their respective provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons simply because they used their best clinical judgement and medical education to make a diagnosis and then provide treatment. Less than 2% of doctors ever receive this level of policing showing discrimination and abuse by the College’s relative to their legislated right to self-police, something that our legislators must look at. As suggested by many patient advocates across Canada we the electorate gave the College’s the right to self police via legislation and we the electorate can put limits on that right because it is being abused. Several states in the United States have enacted legislation protecting doctors there from their own policing bodies specific to Lyme and tick borne disease – something many are calling for in Canada.
Having just returned from Geneva, Switzerland, joined by many representatives from other countries around the world, and having met with the Unite Nations’ Special Rapporteur for Human Rights regarding those who defend this patient group, and other UN officials regarding the human rights abuses of Lyme borreliosis patients and defenders (physicians, parents, advocates), I am stunned and alarmed that in 2018 a tax payer salaried public health representative would make such false claims.
Canada is signatory to both the United Nations and the World Health Organization both of which require signatory countries to provide access to the best information and the highest level of medical care.
Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation