Province of Nova Scotia publicly makes false claims regarding Lyme disease.

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.

Jim Wilson,

President

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

  1. Brian Muldoon on said:

    Thank You Mr. Wilson for bringing this to our attention. Being from Queens County, South Shore NS where it is the “worst” area for the possibility of contacting Lyme Disease, I read all articles on this subject. I’m pleased someone is watching out for us. It is clear they are putting their heads in the sand.
    Brian Muldoon

  2. Rob Murray on said:

    The number of officially reported cases of Lyme disease in Nova Scotia has risen dramatically from 115 in 2014 to 254 in 2015 and now 327 in 2016 which is a 184% increase and the true number is likely ten times that now that health care providers can diagnose and treat cases without waiting for a confirmatory test result. Nova Scotia had the ticks first so with our greater experience we should be leading the country in dealing with this problem and officials at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) state that health is a provincial matter and we are free to choose our own course of action. New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba are further ahead with public health officials working with the Lyme community. If Lyme andTBD’s are that easy to prevent why are cases increasing at such a great rate and why isn’t the Department of Health doing more?

    Nova Scotia has a passive awareness program where residents are expected to search the department’s web site for information. For the most part there are no visible warning signs or public announcements that you could be seriously harmed or killed from the bite of an infected tick and this constitutes public health malpractice. The estimated cost of treating this disease in Nova Scotia is $943,000 annually not counting lost wages and benefits.

  3. joe macintosh on said:

    Lyme disease will not be addressed until Doctors have training to identify the symptoms and are willing to test and treat. I had the bullseye rash and flu like symptoms after working in the hills of Cape Breton in 1976 but never heard of Lyme disease.

    When I learned about the phase one symptoms 15 years ago, I asked my doctor if I should be tested. Her response, ” do not worry about it, Lyme disease did not exist back then”. I refrained from slapping her up the side of the head because I knew it was first called Lyme disease after it escaped from a Biological Weapon facility of the coast of Lyme, Mass. but the bacterium (borreliosis) has been traced back to the Middle Ages.

    I now realize some of my issues may be attributed to Lyme disease.

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