The hidden lyme epidemic in Canada
Excerpted from Lakeshore Advance ( Posted: 05/20/2011 )
I live in Ontario and I have Lyme disease. I contracted Lyme here. I was misdiagnosed for four year and I have chronic late stage Lyme. I am one of thousands of people who have this contracted disease in this country. This disease is like AIDS. It affects your immune system and every part of your body and is incurable. It will and can kill a person. Like AIDS it requires long term treatment but with antibiotics not antivirals since it is a bacterial infection.
The most common way of contracting Lyme is through a tick bite but there is science showing it can be passed on through birth and through breast feeding.(1,2) The bacteria that causes Lyme disease has also been discovered in semen although there have yet to have studies on if it is sexually transmitted although the bacteria is a Spirochete a relative to syphilis.(3) We also don`t screen the blood or organ donor supply so it may be possible to contract the disease this way too.(4)
A lot of people have not heard about Lyme disease or they believe it is rare in Ontario and Canada. The main reason for this belief is that Public health relies on the two tier testing method for Lyme disease detection. The first test the ELISA is a test from 1982. This test has been shown in studies to be inaccurate and missing many cases of Lyme disease.(5,6,7) If a person doesn`t have a positive ELISA in Canada then the second test a western blot is not done. The western blot is a better test although it too is not 100%. As a result the numbers of actual documented cases in this province and in Canada as a whole seems low when in fact many cases of Lyme disease are being missed. Using a test for any disease that is less than 50% accurate is unacceptable. People are being told they do not have Lyme disease when in fact they do. Often people are being misdiagnosed with other conditions such as MS, ALS, Parkinson`s, fibromyalgia, CFS and many more. Doctors are not aware that the testing is so poor and although they are instructed by the Health Ministry to make a clinical assessment and not base everything on the test, most doctors still rely on the test since they are not educated in this disease and how it presents itself. Patients are under the impression that if a test is available for a disease that it is accurate or it wouldn`t be used so they don`t question when they are told it isn`t Lyme disease by a negative test. I know this first hand as I had a Lyme test 3 years ago. It came back negative so I thought I didn`t have it. My health continued to decline to where I was disabled by the disease due to the faulty test. This is happening all across this country.
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