Spring 2015 Northern Rockies ‘tick season’ media coverage ~ patients still note room for improvement

One of many Lyme-related, broad scale commonalities in the Northern Rockies is that if and when Lyme disease is reported on, it is most often accompanied by the declaimer that Lyme is not present or not a concern in the region.  It is often stated that people should be careful of other tick born illnesses, or careful of Lyme when they travel.

This commonality stems from a larger, more dangerous, and more problematic commonality: the assertion by states, provinces, and relevant agencies that Lyme disease is not present.  This remains the case despite positive cases contracted in the region.  Even when these cases are followed up with phone calls from health agencies, patients are consistently reporting that their cases still somehow do not make it onto the map, and their areas remain unacknowledged (view our recent post regarding the Bitterroot study for a recent exception).

Continue reading Spring 2015 Northern Rockies ‘tick season’ media coverage ~ patients still note room for improvement

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Ravalli County Study Indicates Lyme Contracted in Montana

Many Montanans know that contracting Lyme in Montana is rare but possible.  Either through knowledge of pathogens and vectors, disease ecology, or personal experience with Lyme disease.

I am quite ‘biased’ on the matter, having contracted Lyme disease.  Multiple patients, some of whom have shared their stories here (with multiple more ready and willing to share with media to raise awareness) share this bias and this experience.

This study examines self reported cases — a beginning step patients feel should be taken by state health agencies immediately.

The results are in: Group releases findings of Lyme disease study in Ravalli County

Concluding their study, the team recommends: 1. establishing a statewide tick surveillance program to discover what ticks reside in Montana and what pathological agents they carry; 2. assuring that state-of-the-art two tier testing for Lyme disease is available and that healthcare providers know of it; 3. encouraging health-care providers to include Lyme disease in the differential diagnosis of the patient with symptoms of the disorder; and 4. participation in meaningful and related research.

News Release (Link) ~ Public Health Agency of Canada launches public consultation on Lyme disease

News Release

June 1, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Gregory Taylor launched a consultation process to support the development of a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.

This consultation will solicit perspectives on Lyme disease from the medical community, governments, patients’ groups, as well as individual Canadians.

Specific feedback will be solicited on three key themes of the Federal Framework, as outlined in the Act:

  • National medical surveillance: to track incidence rates and the associated economic costs of Lyme disease in Canada.
  • Guidelines and best practices: the prevention, identification, treatment and management of Lyme disease and sharing of best practices throughout Canada.
  • Education and awareness: to develop standardized educational materials for use by Canadian public health providers to increase national awareness about the disease.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s current Action Plan on Lyme Disease will serve as a platform for the development of the Federal Framework. It aims to mitigate the risks to Canadians posed by Lyme disease through three pillars: engagement, education and awareness; surveillance, prevention and control; and research and diagnosis.

Stakeholders and the public are invited to participate in the online consultation. Comments will be accepted until June 30, 2015.

A Conference will be held with invited stakeholders later this year where the input received through the consultation will inform the development of the Framework.

>>>Full Release Here<<<