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Toronto Star: Everything about Lyme disease is steeped in controversy. Now some doctors are too afraid to treat patients

[CanLyme Note: In the below article there are outrageous, disgraceful, and dangerous comments by Tara Moriarty and Todd Hatchette. Tara says a study showed labs returning 60% false positive test results which is simply not true, or in other words, a blatant lie. That study was not powered to determine true positive or negative results. The conclusion of that study was, “Although there was surprisingly little difference among the laboratories in percentage of positive results on most assays using CDC criteria, interlaboratory variability was considerable and remains a problem in LD testing.”  Todd Hatchette, a tax-payer funded salaried employee made a very dangerous claim, ““If the (two-tiered) tests are not positive, you should be looking for another cause,” he says.”  The two-tier tests will miss most true cases of Lyme disease and he is well aware of that fact. That irresponsible statement will move people away from pursuing answers of possible Lyme disease beyond their poor two-tier tests, and that can result in total disability or death which he seems unconcerned about.]

Friday December 14th, 2018 by Isabel Teotonio – The Star

“Bruce Shilton’s crippling fatigue left him bedridden for six months. Sue Faber was so forgetful, she couldn’t remember her daughters’ birthdates. And Andrea Smith’s relentless aches sent her into a deep depression.

All three Canadians say they are struggling with a chronic form of Lyme disease and feel abandoned by Canada’s health-care system.”

“In Canada, treatment is based on guidelines established in the United States. But several states have passed doctor-protection laws that allow physicians to treat Lyme more aggressively with longer-term antibiotics. Here, however, physicians typically refuse to treat chronic Lyme, or they do so quietly so that regulatory agencies don’t find out.

This leaves desperately ill patients with few options, which is especially troubling because research shows people with Lyme are at greater risk for suicide.”

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  1. At least the private labs return the results and the interpretation and diagnoses is left up to the clinician. The patient and their clinician can then decide on a course of action. The AMMI/ IDSA and Tara Moriarty never mention the dangers of false-negative results which happen in at least half the cases and are potentially far more serious. In Canada the National Microbiology Lab doesn’t return the test results, only a negative or positive diagnosis. The tests are interpreted by someone not familiar with the case details and clinical presentation. Clinicians in Canada are discouraged from relying on their own judgement and diagnostic skills which seems like a waste of money in the expensive medical education system that we are all paying for.

  2. Why oh why are we still relying on flawed tests. Clinical diagnosis, If you have exposure, symptoms and respond appropriately to treatment, you have the disease.

  3. The craziness surrounding Lyme disease continues. If anyone ever considers a class action lawsuit citing negligence, misinformation, subterfuge, etc., against Public Health Canada and the CDC, I’m in. Their handling of Lyme disease so far is a disgrace and a tragedy for so many of us.

  4. There are no gold-plated lab tests for Lyme disease. In the USA the CDC and all state licensing boards require proficiency testing. Laboratories are routinely visited by Department of Health officials as well as CLIA [Clinical Licensing Improvement], and others. All these organizations send or bring samples for testing in double-blinded studies. IGeneX Laboratory continues to perform at superior levels during all performance reviews by every licensing organization in the USA. New York State recently approved immunoblot testing for Lyme in less then 6 months, because it performs at a superior level to all other tests for Lyme serology. [NY notoriously takes years to review & approve testing].

    Our own Public Health Agency of Canada and public health departments obviously do not trust the USA CDC or any of the multiple licensing organizations that oversee all clinical laboratory testing in the USA preferring the out-of date definitions and standardized government approved tests that have always used that seem to be written in stone.

    Federal and State laws in the USA do not allow labs to make public any proficiency data from any licensing organization. If Dr. Moriarty or Dr. Hatchette would like to review laboratory proficiency data first hand, IGeneX [and no doubt others] would be delighted to give them a tour of their facilities and allow them to review their proficiency results from the licensing organizations in the USA.

  5. Imbedded tick, bulls eye rash and negative test results for lyme disease! What doesn’t add up here? And then when you add chronic pain and exhaustion and mobility and joint issues to this how can we still not diagnosis as Lyme disease? When will we finally admit there is a lyme disease epidemic that has changed and debilitated so many lives???? When will there be a recourse for victims? Please, please wake up CDC and health professionals in Canada!! Too many lives are being ruined.

  6. Help! I stumbled across this page. We are pretty certain my dad has Lyme but no doctor can give us any answers. He has rapidly declined for the last 6 months with pages of symptoms. I am in desperate need of help and any advice on where to turn would be so much appreciated!! We are located about an hour north of Toronto.

  7. I am also having the same problem but recently spoke To a natural path dr about it and now I am really looking into it. It seems that Germany had the best treatment that can possibly cure the disease but the earlier the better.. God bless you and for family it is so hard to deal with !

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