Welcome to my blog! This is a place of information and hope for fellow Canadians who are suffering from Lyme disease. I want to share with you the knowledge I have gained during my fight with this debilitating, frightening, and misunderstood illness. I hope you will be blessed.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Misinformation!

Below is an article from thestar.com from November 26, 2014.  Wow, it's great that they are continuing to spread the word about Lyme disease.....and in the winter!  However, there are a few missing details in the article.  Frankly, the article reads like an overly simplified statement that the public health unit might make.  Sadly, the public health unit doesn't have a full understanding of the gravity of this illness.  Within the article, I have taken my "teacher red pen" and added or corrected information.  Please read so that you are not misinformed as well.
 

Ticks carrying Lyme disease bacteria found in Rouge Valley

Health officials warn the public of ticks and Lyme disease becoming "established" in the area.



Health officials in Toronto, as well as York and Durham regions are warning the public after blacklegged ticks in the Rouge Valley tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, according to Toronto Public Health.

A statement released Wednesday said public health units searched for blacklegged ticks, which are the only type of ticks in Ontario that can carry the disease, after receiving reports from members of the public.  My LLMD (Lyme-literate medical doctor) told me that he believes that mosquitoes and black flies can carry the disease, too!  Officials then sent samples for testing and identification. Some tested positive.
 
Although the ticks are more likely to infect people during the warmer summer months, Toronto Public Health warn the bugs and the disease “are becoming established in the Rouge Valley,” which has been a low-risk area for Lyme disease.  As far as I'm concerned, Lyme has been here for a while.  What else would explain the hundreds of Lyme patients left with no care after a Toronto infectious disease doctor closed his door to Lyme sufferers in 2011 (due to threats from the medical board)?  This caused a mass exodus of patients to the U.S. in search of an LLMD there.
 
Health officials are advising the public to reduce the risk of getting bitten and infected by taking precautions, including: wearing long-sleeves, long pants, socks and closed shoes; tucking pant legs into socks, and wearing light-coloured clothing to make ticks more visible; using bug spray with DEET on clothes and exposed skin, as well as checking skin and clothing thoroughly after activities in wooded areas.  DEET is not effective in repelling ticks!  I would not rely on it.  However, there is a spray called permethrin that is used on clothing (not skin) which does repel ticks.  Also, you should do a tick check on your body when you come in from the outdoors, as well as shower right away.
 
Toronto Public Health says early removal of ticks will prevent possible infection, as the transmission requires the tick to be attached for at least 24 hours.  There is much controversy about this. Many Lyme specialists say the time is much shorter than this.
 
Early symptoms of lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.  Very true!  But if you are bitten and do NOT have symptoms, GET TREATMENT ANYWAY!  My LLMD would provide 3 weeks of antibiotics with a bite in the absence of symptoms.  If early symptoms have developed, then he would give 6 weeks of antibiotics.  If you are sick for a long time before diagnosis, then LLMDs would prescribe antibiotics on an ongoing basis until symptoms have resolved. 
 
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, fatigue, and red bull’s eye rash.  Yes, these are often the symptoms of early, acute Lyme disease.  But not all of us produce these symptoms.  Only 50% of people bitten develop a rash, and it isn't always a bulls-eye rash.  In my case, I had NO early symptoms!  I developed all sorts of strange symptoms, including neurological symptoms, many months later.  (It might even have been a year or two later.)

In this article, there is no mention of the fact that the baby ticks, called nymphs, are the size of a poppy seed!  You might never know it burrowed into you.  And apparently, the tiny ones are highly infectious.

The article also doesn't mention that you may have to FIGHT with your GP or the ER doctor to give you antibiotics!  Some doctors will want you to send your tick to the lab for testing before antibiotics are prescribed.  My advice......DO NOT WAIT!  It could take a week or two to get the lab results back, and by then the bacteria may have spread to other organs.  Insist on treatment right away!  It is not worth the risk!

Finally, be sure to remove an imbedded tick properly, otherwise the tick is more likely to inject you with the bacteria.  See my tab above called "Protect Yourself from Ticks" for the safest methods of tick removal.

The Toronto Star gets a "C" for this article.  They need to do their homework better.  The public needs more information than this.
 

2 comments:

  1. thank you for this
    here is another article some of your followers might be interested in
    http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/5180633-lyme-warning-no-surprise-to-sufferers/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'll check out that article.

      Paula

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