May is Lyme Disease (LD) Awareness Month. LD is caused by ticks that bite humans, spreading infectious pathogens usually from wild animals. If left untreated, the infection can cause long-term health effects known as “long Lyme.” LD is still greatly misunderstood in Canada. Many doctors still do not know how to treat or diagnose it.
Lyme disease is exacerbated by the climate crisis. Ticks thrive in warmer conditions, especially when successive winters do not get cold enough to kill them off. The climate crisis increases vector-born diseases in humans as well as creating dangerous conditions for ecosystems, such as in the devastation caused by the pine beetle.
The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) is a volunteer-run organization with the express purpose of providing the public and medical professionals with reliable information on LD.
CanLyme has many resources to help identify and prevent Lyme Disease! Learn more at https://canlyme.com/
My Private Member’s Bill C-442 passed in 2014, creating a Federal Framework for Lyme Disease. The federal framework was published in 2017. As required by the bill, the Minister of Health is expected to table a report this month, with findings as to the effectiveness of the federal framework. We anxiously await this report, along with the thousands of Canadians living with Lyme.