Lyme: Be aware every month

Opinion

To the Editor:

May Lyme Disease Awareness Month is drawing to a close but please remember to be aware every month. Ticks are out there year round depending on the weather. Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease as are so many other diseases carried by ticks as well as some other disease spreading insects.

According to the One Heath organization 70 per cent of the emerging or re-emerging diseases are either zoonotic or vector borne. Their focus is on people, animals and the environment, all one and thus for health of all this approach needs to be our focus… One Health, One World.

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) is launching a new registry and crowd-solving platform. The launch of the One Health Lyme initiative is being pushed forward in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One Health Lyme will provide resources to healthcare providers who are treating patients with Lyme and related diseases.

Lyme is a pandemic that will hopefully be recognized in the future when the COVID-19 pandemic is for the most part behind us. It appears that many countries are trying to work together battling COVID-19 yet the Lyme battle is different in other countries. Canada does not accept Lyme testing nor are treatment protocols acknowledged from other countries. People are travelling to other countries seeking help.

Lyme advocates in the meantime will continue to spread information for awareness and prevention in hope of the health care systems worldwide working together to solve this growing problem in the future. I have people contact me with tick bites looking for information. One person was at the hospital with their child, the tick was removed, trashed and no treatment given. Another person who was bitten and had the tick will send it for testing to Geneticks https://www.geneticks.ca/submit-a-tick/ in Ontario who is testing at this time. Trying to get appropriate treatment can be a challenge as many health care providers still think Lyme is a scam. In the meantime educate yourself as there are many good sources of information out there. One good source is https://canlyme.com/.

We must all work together to solve this the Lyme pandemic.

Education is key!

Brenda Sterling-Goodwin

New Glasgow