OPINION: Lyme disease tunnel vision plagues provincial authorities
Nov 3rd, 2018 Chronicle Herald newspaper Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada by Jane Bailey.
Re: “Nova Scotia’s health system has a handle on Lyme” (Sept. 18 opinion piece by Dr. Robert Strang). I was appalled at the inaccuracy and inadequacy of the information that he is supplying to Nova Scotians — patients and doctors — about Lyme disease.
A 2012 Health Canada report states that Lyme disease test kits have reliability problems, and that health-care professionals should be aware of these problems. The majority of our doctors and health-care professionals are unaware of these facts.
The Lyme tests we use in Nova Scotia demonstrate approximately 50 per cent sensitivity, which means that they are about as reliable as a coin toss. Unfortunately, in Nova Scotia we still use those same tests to which the Health Canada report was referring. This is a problem.
As the chief medical officer, Dr. Strang should know about these problems. On the product information sheet for the tests, for example, it states the following: