Bieber’s Lyme shines light on complicated disease
Justin Bieber’s recent Lyme disease diagnosis has put another big spotlight on an illness that’s still shrouded in mystery, both in the public eye and the medical and scientific communities.
The pop superstar from Stratford, Ont., announced his condition on his Instagram account earlier this week, making him the third major Canadian singer to open up about being diagnosed with Lyme in recent years, after Shania Twain and Avril Lavigne.
The head of the British Columbia-based Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation says the testing and treatment processes for Lyme in Canada are problematic, and he hopes high-profile cases like Bieber’s will highlight those issues.
“The more attention we can bring to this, the better, because the numbers are becoming staggering across Canada and the vast majority of them are not being diagnosed,” says Jim Wilson, president and founder of the charity who contracted Lyme himself in Nova Scotia in 1991. His daughter was diagnosed with it in B.C. in 2001.