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.
May 24, 2015
My former (and now future) anti-tick precautions predate confirmation that ticks in western Canada carried the dreaded Borrelia bacteria. Instead, I grew up on tales of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis and other ailments shared by the seed-sized critters. It was only during my last few years in the mountains that Lyme disease loomed locally as a possibility.
I recently met a colleague from those mountain days. He mentioned that several people he had worked with in the 1980s now suffered from unaccounted-for neurological problems, including memory loss, chronic fatigue, muscle wasting and nerve issues.
He speculated about Lyme disease, but didn’t know. He said the acquaintances also didn’t know. Three decades have passed since they spent their summers roaming slopes, exploring valleys and camping in high-mountain passes.
Lyme disease might have existed in the Rockies back then, but remained undetected, undocumented and unknown. The bacteria can incubate for years in some people before causing illness. It’s also possible the illness occurred back then, but lack of awareness and difficulties with diagnosis — which continue today — left it undiagnosed.
Related link and additional future links posted HERE.