"Lyme Disease Spreading Across Canada"

"Lyme disease is moving its way into new parts of Canada but the government is not doing enough to track it or to teach doctors how to diagnose it, says a new report.

Lyme disease is transmitted by blacklegged ticks that feed on animal or human hosts and carry the bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Practically unheard of in the 1980s, the disease is now found across the country, as ticks move into new parts of the country aided by climate change, write researchers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

'National surveillance must be able to identify this changing pattern,' write Dr. Nicholas Ogden from the Public Health Agency of Canada and coauthors.

Populations of the tick that carry the bacteria that cause Lyme (Ixodes scapularis) are emerging in southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, southeastern Manitoba, New Brunswick and southern Quebec, they write. Populations of the tick that spreads the bacterium in the West, Ixodes pacificus, are also widespread in southern British Columbia."

CTV.ca News had the story June 8, 2009.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009