May 11th is the First-Ever World Lyme Disease Day

Lyme diseaseThe Green Party of Canada wishes to mark the first-ever World Lyme Disease Day on Saturday, May 11th.

Green Leader Elizabeth May introduced a Private Member’s Bill in June 2012 calling for the development of a national strategy to address the challenges of the timely recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease. The bill also calls for funding for provinces and territories to implement the strategy.

Related: Support Elizabeth’s Lyme disease awareness legislation. Sign her petition.

“Lyme disease can be devastating. Too many Canadians are now disabled, deprived of the joy of family and friends, of school or work, due to Lyme disease. The public and the medical community need to be educated as to the increasing incidence and range of this disease,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans and animals through the bite of certain types of ticks, particularly the black-legged tick. Notoriously under-diagnosed and under-reported, the disease can cause serious symptoms if left untreated including recurring arthritis and neurological problems.

The risk of exposure to Lyme disease is highest in parts of southern and south-eastern Quebec, southern and eastern Ontario, south-eastern Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and much of southern British Columbia.

Elizabeth May will take part in Victoria’s World Lyme Disease Day Rally Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time.

“Scientists are warning that a warming climate will expand the geographic range of Lyme disease-carrying ticks further into Canada, so it is imperative that we are proactive,” said May.

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