Lyme disease and ‘fake’ science

Opinion

To the Editor:

We have heard a lot in the media about fake news, fake food, and now in Canada we have fake science. The myth that chronic Lyme disease is fake science is being propagated by the chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia. It can be said that Dr. Strang has acted like a ‘twit’ (a silly or foolish person) tweeting/retweeting a post thus dismissing chronic Lyme disease as pseudoscience supported by a cult following. People expect knowledgeable information from those in power rather than them spouting off about things that have no concrete evidence behind them. There is current research happening around vector borne disease that appears to be ignored.

I have been told in the past that the doctors in our province are knowledgeable about Lyme and other illnesses ticks can carry. I saw a doctor last year who graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 2001; he told me he had heard of Lyme and Bartonella but did not know about them. I have seen doctors in the ER who told me they had never heard of Bartonella. I have had a doctor who did not know how to spell Lyme or Bartonella and told me she did not have time for Lyme. It is very discouraging the lack of help in Canada for all those suffering with Lyme and co-infections thus having to spend their own money, if they can afford it, to seek help in the USA or other countries.

In the past at a meeting with a doctor I was told there were no ticks in winter. I spoke up on the contrary and he was not pleased. Ticks are active when temperatures are above 4 degrees Celsius which is often during the winters we experience now. I have spoken in the past with the chair of the standing committee on health recommending that medical doctors speak to veterinarians regarding vector borne illnesses and was told this was not possible. I have also had an infectious diseases specialist tell me he knew nothing about Lyme and that veterinarians knew nothing. Grrr! Things must change. Should we not all be working for the greater good of humankind and our planet?

Education is key!

Brenda Sterling-Goodwin

New Glasgow