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June 18, 2014

In July of 2012 Babesia odocoilei was determined to be the cause of death of a game ranched elk in central Saskatchewan. Another 10 bull elk on the farm were suspected of having died of this parasite within the previous few weeks but unfortunately autopsies were not performed to confirm the diagnosis. This was the first report of Babesia odocoilei in Canada. Babesia odocoilei is a single-celled parasite that infects and destroys red blood cells causing infected animals to become anemic, lethargic and to lose weight. The parasite is transmitted by ticks and to date the only species known to be a competent vector for this parasite is Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged or deer tick, although Dermacentor spp. have been implicated in some cases. Ixodes scapularis is not endemic to Saskatchewan.

Babesia odocoilei is endemic in white-tailed deer in the southern and eastern United States with prevalence exceeding 50% in some areas. Infections have also been reported in the north-central and north-eastern US. The parasite natural infects other cervid and bovid species and these infections are often fatal in elk, reindeer and caribou.

To investigate this novel disease occurrence further, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC), Western and Northern Region, along with other researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) initiated a study to assess the prevalence of infection in farmed and wild cervids in Saskatchewan, both prospectively, using ongoing submissions to our diagnostic lab, and retrospectively, using formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues archived from diagnostic cases dating back to 1970. We first validated techniques and primers for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test specific for B. odocoilei and have begun the process of testing spleens from these cases. Although testing and analysis is not complete we have so far confirmed B. odocoilei infection in one other game farmed elk and in a wild white-tailed deer in the province (see map). Preliminary results have detected other positive cases but we are doing additional testing to confirm the results.

This work has several important outcomes. First it has allowed us to develop PCR diagnostic tools to identify a disease agent which would not normally be detected during autopsy of an animal; anemia and weight loss would be observed, but B. odocoilei can only be detected with blood smears or by using PCR. These tests are not normally undertaken, especially if the disease is not thought to occur in the area. Secondly, we have determined this parasite occurs sporadically in the province but to date we have not identified any endemic foci. Since to our knowledge B. odocoilei can only be transmitted by Ixodes scapularis, a tick not native to Saskatchewan, it raises the question of how these animals are becoming infected. It is likely that B. odocoilei infected I. scapularis ticks are being transported to Saskatchewan on migratory birds. Previously researchers have shown that between 0.35 and 2.2 % of migratory birds carry these ticks, which translates to between 50 million to 175 million Ixodes scapularis ticks being dispersed across Canada each spring by migratory birds. The sporadic occurrence of B. odocoilei infections in Saskatchewan cervids has interesting parallels to the sporadic occurrence of Lyme disease in the province, another disease that requires Ixodes scapularis for transmission. In this latter case the ticks present on migratory birds are infected with Borrellia burgdorferi , the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease.

Read full story here:

http://www.healthywildlife.ca/babesia-odocoilei-recently-detected-in-canada/

http://m.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2014-04-11/article-3685796/Woman-claims-health-protocols-putting-her-sons-health-at-risk/1

BILL NO. 46 (as introduced) 1st Session, 62nd General Assembly Nova Scotia 63 Elizabeth II, 2014 Private Member’s Bill Lyme Disease Strategy Act Tim Houston Pictou East First Reading: April 10, 2014 Second Reading: Third Reading:

An Act Respecting a Lyme Disease Strategy for Nova Scotia Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows: 1 This Act may be cited as the Lyme Disease Strategy Act. 2 In this Act, (a) “district health authority” means a district health authority within the meaning of the Health Authorities Act; (b) “Minister” means the Minister of Health and Wellness; (c) “Provincial strategy” means a Provincial strategy to address the challenges of the recognition and timely diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. 3 The Minister shall, within six months after this Act comes into force, convene a conference with stakeholders, including representatives of the medical community and patients’ groups, for the purpose of developing a comprehensive Provincial strategy that includes (a) the establishment of a Provincial medical surveillance program to use data collected by the Department of Health and Wellness and district health authorities to properly track incidence rates and the associated economic costs of Lyme disease; (b) the establishment of guidelines regarding the prevention, identification, treatment and management of Lyme disease, including a recommended Provincial standard of care that reflects current best practices for the treatment of Lyme disease; and (c) the creation and distribution of standardized educational materials related to Lyme disease, for use by any public health care provider within the Province, designed to increase Provincial awareness about the disease and enhance its prevention, identification, treatment and management. 4 The Minister shall prepare a report that sets out the Provincial strategy and publish the report on the Departmental website within one year after the conclusion of the conference referred to in Section 3. 5 The Minister shall, within 10 days of the publication of the report referred to in Section 4, table the report in the Assembly if the Assembly is then sitting or, where it is not then sitting, file the report with the Clerk of the Assembly. 6 The Minister shall (a) complete a review of the effectiveness of the Provincial strategy no later than five years after the day on which the report referred to in Section 4 is published on the Departmental website; and (b) within 10 days of the completion of the review, table a report on its findings in the Assembly if the Assembly is then sitting or, where it is not then sitting, file the report with the Clerk of the Assembly. 7 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting any matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to effectively carry out the intent and purpose of this Act. (2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is a regulation within the meaning of the Regulations Act. This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2014 Cr

Thankyou so much for all your posts, very heart warming. I hope you all had a great Christmas and looking forward to a healthy and happy New Year. Thankyou Derek for this website and all the work you do to keep this going, I am very grateful. I never say Thankyou enough and you usually only hear me shrieking about all the spam viagra posts l0l.

I was very sick over Christmas and have been lacking in new posts. I thought I wouldn’t make it through Christmas day I was feeling so bad but today I’m feeling like Christmas 2011 was a rebirth for me. So much so I think I’m going to buy a Baby’s first Christmas 2011 ball~its significant. I’m deciding if I will do a blog on this, I would have to be so honest with it and not sure if that’s fair to the other Lymies. You know how bad with memory I am all the conversation came back to me at the time and I did take a moment to chuckle. :~] Looking forward to 2012 !!

Peace n Love, healing n whole … love ing XO

Recent press release from CDC who’s motto is “24/7  saving lives and protecting people” !!

http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0819-lyme-disease.html

…and it’s getting considerable attention…

http://lymedisease.org/news/touchedbylyme/cdc-lyme-number-coverage.html

TOUCHED BY LYME: “300,000? number catches media’s eye

21st August 2013
When the CDC bumped its estimate of annual Lyme cases from 30,000 to ten times that, it made the evening news.

I blogged last week about the unprecedented wave of recent media coverage about Lyme disease. Turns out, we hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.

On Monday, August 19, the CDC announced that it had raised its official estimate of how many cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, from 30,000 to 300,000.  (No matter that way back in 2004, the CDC stated on the record that official numbers were likely underreported by a factor of 10. Suddenly, putting that big number—300,000—in an official government press release made the news media sit up and take notice.)

All the major news outlets carried the story, some of them going into deeper detail than others. Here are links to a sampling if you want to check them out yourself.

Boston Globe

Poughkeepsie Journal

PBS Newshour

NBC Virginia

CBS Chicago

San Francisco-area TV station KTVU

The New Yorker blog

In addition to a news story, the Poughkeepsie Journal (in New York state) ran an editorial entitled “Lyme fight must go beyond change in numbers.” In addition to having more accurate reporting of cases, the newspaper suggests a number of changes:

That would include providing doctors with more protections if they are treating long-term cases of Lyme. It also would include establishing a federal advisory committee to ensure that all medical points of view are being represented before public health policy decisions are reached in relation to Lyme.

Sound proposals have been offered for years, but little action has been taken. Armed with new numbers, advocates must continue the fight for a better and broader fight against Lyme.

Hear, hear.

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at dleland@lymedisease.org.

- See more at: http://lymedisease.org/news/touchedbylyme/cdc-lyme-number-coverage.html#sthash.VBV9I5Gl.dpuf

LYME DISEASE IN QUEBEC – A TICKING TIMEBOMB
May, 2013
For The Gazette by Robert J. Galbraith

Montreal-Quebec’s leading authority in the science of tick biology says that the southern part of Quebec has become ground zero in the spread of the debilitating disease commonly known as Lyme’s disease, and that little is being done by the provincial or federal health officials to notify the public and physicians of this very real and increasing health threat.
“We could have a real problem on our hands if things keep going the way they are,” explained Dr. Alain Villeneuve, a Professor of Parasitology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Université de Montréal, in St-Hyacinthe. “The public should be made more aware of the reality of Lyme disease (LD) and its spread and know how to take precautions to prevent infection.”
Meanwhile, Lyme’s disease (LD) cases are skyrocketing along the Vermont, New York and Maine borders with Quebec, where as of last year, close to 20,000 cases of LD infection were reported in humans. Ontario reported 102 cases in 2008 (though this number may actually be much greater due to misdiagnosis of the symptoms and infection) and the numbers of infection are growing as the infected tick numbers spread through this neighbouring province.
LD is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of the black-legged tick (also referred to as the deer tick). If untreated, it can cause serious health symptoms that affect many systems of the body, but it can be effectively treated if caught in the early stages of infection. The longer the disease remains undetected, the more serious and debilitating the symptoms become and the more difficult they can be to treat.
A second tick, more common to Quebec, is the brown or dog tick. Unlike the deer tick, this tick does not carry the Lyme bacteria, though its bite can cause a number of different sicknesses.
As the deer populations in Quebec increase, so does the tick population. Climate change is also a contributing factor to the spread of ticks. The warmer our winters become, means the more ticks that will survive to cause problems.
Dr. François Milord, a medical consultant with the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, agrees that more must be done to reach the medical workers and the public living in Quebec, particularly in the Montérégie and southern regions of the province. “If we look at what has happened in other areas, the numbers will probably increase in coming years. This is the time to inform all parties about this potential growing problem.”
He explained that, “last year we sent some information (a brochure) to all physicians in private clinics and CLSC’s, by mail, on various subjects including LD. We may need to do more, but at this time, we have done nothing to notify the public, though there is information on LD on the Ministère de la Santé (INSPQ) web site.
When Milord was asked if there was a chance that the brochure sent to the medical workers might have been put aside, not read, or discarded as junk mail, he responded. “It’s true they (medical workers) receive a lot of information on many different subjects and many may have not seen the article on LD because they chose not to look at this specific brochure.” Milord explained that, “we have been working with Health Canada in collaboration of our field studies. The ticks found on humans and animals are sent to the Health Canada office in Winnipeg for analysis. Humans showing symptoms of LD are studied here.”
He explained hat the first reported case of LD in Quebec was in 2004. “What I know is that from 2004 to 2007, cases that were reported in the province were all instances of LD that were acquired outside of Quebec, in the United States, (LD is also widespread in Europe and Asia).
It was in 2008 that the first confirmed case was acquired inside Quebec, in the Montérégie. “If we look at what has. From 2004 till 2009 we have had between 8-15 cases per year, with most of these cases caught outside the province. We had 13 cases in 2008. Of these, 10 were caught outside the province and 3 in the province. In 2009 there were 14 cases, and of these, 4 were acquired in Quebec.”
The same concern about the spread of LD in Quebec is being voiced by Jim Wilson, the president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme), formed in 2004. He holds no punches when strongly emphasized; “the situation in Quebec is ridiculous! Research in Quebec has been very limited and very much under reported. Rather than be pro-active, they (health officials) swept it under the carpet and hoped it would all go away,” he stated. “In the next five years LD will rear its ugly head and be a huge problem in that province. Then the authorities will be forced to acknowledge they should have taken this threat seriously twenty-years ago, when the writing was on the wall.”
Wilson says it is appalling and the public should be angry and demanding answers from the government. They should be doing much more investigation, not in the field, but on human pathology. We already know it (the deer tick) is here and widespread. “Its time to start doing human research and stop doing it on ticks”
Wilson himself was an LD victim. He contracted it after being bit by a tick in 1991, in Dartmouth NS, where he lived at the time. Shortly after being bit, he noticed a bull’s-eye-type rash around his navel, but the local doctors didn’t know what it was. Shortly after it appeared, the rash went a way. Months later he became very sick. “At this time we moved to British Columbia where I visited a whole series of doctors, going from specialist to specialist,” he explained. “But it was misdiagnosed, the physicians were unable to find what was going on.”
At this time he found a book on LD and mentioned the possibility of himself having LD, but the doctors were sceptical. “It was finally a doctor in BC that confirmed it was LD, in 1994. Once the treatment kicked in, it was absolutely amazing. I didn’t feel like I wasn’t dying anymore.”
He says present testing is completely inadequate and using 1980’s technology. They should be running multiple tests.”
Deer ticks in all stages of reproduction are now well established in the province, whereas studies initiated in 2004 indicated that only adult deer ticks were being found in Quebec. “They were probably the result of adult ticks attaching themselves to migratory birds in contaminated regions of the United States. Then when the birds migrate to Quebec, the ticks would drop off looking for a host to feed on their blood,” he said.
Then in 2007, during field work, Milord and his associates found that the full tick breeding cycle (larva, nymph and adult) in Quebec had become a reality and, “they seemed to be well adapted and growing in numbers.” He also acknowledged that Lyme carrying ticks, “are widespread in the province because of the ticks hitchhicking on migratory birds.” He admits research could have started a few years earlier but it began in 2007.
Lyme disease was first identified in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. They didn’t understand what it was until 1982. It was believed to have come into the US from Europe or Asia on someone’s pet and spread from there.
The disease is difficult to diagnose as its symptoms are not consistent. It has been often called the ‘great imitator’ by medical researchers and physicians as it is very illusive and can impersonate a number of different diseases and neurological disorders at the same time. It can be first recognized as a rash near the bite area, but even the rash is not present in all cases. It can affect the brain, joints, the lungs, central nervous system; every organ of the body. Each case can be different and the great majority of cases in Canada are misdiagnosed due to a lack of knowledge of the symptoms by physicians. “We don’t know how many are suffering because of misdiagnosis,” says Wilson.
“Advanced stages of Lyme’s are very similar to the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. But because of the ignorance in the medical field, Lyme sufferers can be misdiagnosed as suffering from something else, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, advanced arthritis, respiratory and a variety of psychiatric and psychological disorders,” he explained.
“We should be giving those sufferers of MS symptoms the LD antibiotics, and if they don’t improve, then they actually have MS, but if they do improve, then we know it was Lyme’s. We really have to catch up to speed on the analysis as so many can be misdiagnosed and be suffering unnecessarily.”
He states that it is a misconception that deer ticks only live on deer. They are just as likely to live on shrews, white footed mice, squirrels, as well as our pets. If your dog sleeps on your bed, you’d better damn well make sure it doesn’t have ticks, otherwise they may end up feeding off you.”
Wilson recommends that pet owners use latex gloves to examine their pets for ticks, paying close attention to the ears, around the face, eyes, legs and belly, looking for unusual lumps. Ticks will range in size from the size of a poppy seed to the size of a fingernail (when it has drawn blood and ready to drop off).
When a tick is found embedded in the skin, use fine pointed tweezers at the point of attachment, and grasp firmly. Using slow, steady, pressure, pull the tick straight out from the skin, and then cleanse the skin with mild soap and water. Do not twist or jerk the tick. Place the tick in a jar of alcohol or a jar with a dampened cotton swab, so it doesn’t dry out and contact Santé Quebec or Health Canada as to where to send the tick for analysis. Do not grasp and squeeze the tick’s body as it will regurgitate its body juices into the human body. Also, do not coat the tick in Vaseline, or alcohol or burn it off with a hot match as this will aggravate the tick and it may release more bacteria into the bloodstream. The only safe way to remove them is what is described above. You can also bring your pet to the vets and have them remove it.
Ticks prefer to live in or near wood piles, wooded and bushy areas with high grass where it is moist and cool. When visiting areas where ticks are known to inhabit, wear light coloured clothing so you can see any tricks on your clothing and wear long pants and shirts and tuck your pants into your socks. You can also apply the insect repellent DEET on skin and clothing but not on skin under clothing. DEET dissuades ticks from attaching to you. When you come home (or while still outside is recommended), check yourself, your pet, or your children all over for ticks, especially anywhere hair grows on the body.
Wilson explained that the message that, “no tick is a good tick, must get out to the public. These organisms are very, very dangerous and its not just deer ticks but other diseases passed on by all ticks. And why is there no massive education going on where these creatures are known to occur. There should be bilingual poster campaigns advising the public what to watch out for and how to safely remove ticks from themselves and their pets. There should also be TV ads and most importantly, physician awareness.”
Websites of interest; www.canlyme.org, http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/lyme-eng.php , http://www.inspq.qc.ca/english/default.asp?A=7

See Link to website:

http://www.robertgalbraith.com/320/

Updated: May 30, 2013 1:51 PM ADT

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) -

An extremely unusual and significant interception was made recently by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

It all started when a shipment of work gloves from Pakistan was held for agriculture inspection due to previous Khapra Beetle infestations.

This time, however, examination of the shipment determined that it was actually free from beetles.  Upon further inspection, though, a CBP agriculture specialist saw something on the exterior of the shipping carton.  The adult tick, approximately one quarter inch in size, was collected for identification.

A few days later, after traveling to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, the specimen was identified as Argas species (Argasidae).

According to the NVSL entomologist, “This species of tick is a bird parasite that occurs widely in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and across south-central Asia.  Pigeons are the primary hosts for this tick, but it also feeds on domestic fowl and a limited variety of wild birds. Information about the disease relationships of  this genus are limited, however,  West Nile Virus has been found in this tick, and it may be an overwintering vector of that virus in the Middle East.  Soft ticks, especially Argas spp., only rarely are imported in commerce, and we even more rarely see them for identification……. .”

See full story here:

http://www.wjhl.com/story/22458197/2013/05/30/tick-species-found-in-shipment-of-gloves-from-pakistan

http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/05/28/dangers-australia-paralysis-tick-revealed/#axzz2UaVhLuBW

Lyme disease specialist pleads for more medical awareness
Posted on May 22, 2013 Steve Goodwin

Chelsey Livingstone-Rector, left, and her mother Angela discuss Lyme disease with Dr. Ernie Murakami at a presentation on Lyme last week. (Goodwin photo

People need to rally so that the medical community hears their calls for a serious discussion and treatment of Lyme disease, Dr. Ernie Murakami says.
The retired medical doctor from Hope, B.C., who has gained a rising profile in his quest to educate people and doctors about the disease, says it’s the only way – short of legal action – that will turn the discussion to benefit those who suffer from the debilitating disease.
“The bigger the body, the better the response,” he told about 150 people who attended his address last Wednesday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. “You can’t do it alone. There’s power in numbers. We as Canadians have to say, ‘Enough of this crap.’”
Many doctors throughout Canada who want to treat Lyme patients are refusing to, over the risk of having their medical licences pulled by various provincial bodies like the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, Murakami said.
Now 82, Murakami is among many who gave up their practices to avoid harassment and persecution by authorities.
“A lot of doctors want to treat, but they’re afraid to treat because of our colleges,” he said. “This is Canada. There is a constant fear factor. They do not want to lose their licences, so don’t blame the doctors directly. (The colleges) have the power, the intimidation. It’s up to you. It’s your tax dollars.”
Murakami has been treating Lyme patients for years and recognizes how global warming is allowing the ticks that carry the bacteria that cause the disease to proliferate around the world, especially in temperature climates between the 20th and 70th northern latitudes.
He argues with any medical authorities who defend faulty lab testing.
“You only need a clinical diagnosis,” he said. “Doctors are at times viciously denying there is a problem.”
Among those who attended were Angela Livingstone-Rector, who has raised nearly $5,000 for initial and ongoing treatment so her daughter, Chelsey, can see a Lyme doctor who lives in Montreal but practices in update New York because she’s prohibited from treating Lyme patients in Canada.
Chelsey has symptoms consistent with Lyme disease, has no energy to attend school and sleeps a lot, Angela said.
“I had to get her out of bed to come here,” she said. “We’ve been told it isn’t Lyme disease, that it’s all in her head.”

See full story:

http://www.pictouadvocate.com/2013/05/22/lyme-disease-specialist-pleads-for-more-medical-awareness/

The Lyme doctor

By Joanne Laucius, OTTAWA CITIZEN May 9, 2013

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Lyme+doctor/8363919/story.html#ixzz2Tb0Tiw9w

Dr. Ernie Murakami says denying chronic Lyme is ‘a big, major lie.’ Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider , Vancouver Sun

Dr. Ernie Murakami says he treated 3,000 patients for Lyme disease before he was forced into retirement.

The B.C. physician can no longer prescribe the long-term antibiotics he believes are necessary to treat chronic Lyme. But retirement hasn’t stopped him for directing people to physicians in the U.S. and Europe who diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

By his own count. Murakami has offered free advice to more than 7,000 people looking for help. He will be in Ottawa May 13 for a speaking engagement.

Murakami was the subject of a College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. investigation that began in 2005 and agreed to retire in 2008. He says his story has frightened physicians from treating chronic Lyme with long-term antibiotics.

In the world of conventional medicine, few agree that chronic Lyme exists. They maintain that Lyme is a convenient explanation for chronic fatigue and mysterious pain that is hard to diagnose, backed up by conspiracy theories and an increasingly powerful Lyme advocacy lobby.

In September 2011, the influential medial journal The Lancet published an essay authored by 13 medical experts from institutions like Harvard Medical School and Yale University who argued that people searching for information on the Internet see the websites of Lyme advocates and doctors as reliable sources, drawing attention away from evidence-based medicine.

Long-term antibiotic treatment is profitable for “Lyme-literate” doctors, they wrote. And it can be falsely reassuring to patients to believe they have a chronic infection so they don’t seek diagnosis and treatment for something else.

But Murakami says denying chronic Lyme is “a big, major lie.”

And he’s not backing down.

Murakami says diagnosing Lyme is a matter of a clinical diagnosis — that is, observations and reports from the patient about the symptoms, not just lab tests.

“I wouldn’t have wasted the past five years without some credibility,” says Murakami, who had studied bacteriology and immunology and got interested in Lyme when he treated a patient, a student who had been planting trees, in his practice in Hope B.C., about 160 kilometres east of Vancouver.

He had studied syphilis and says Lyme is similar in that it is also caused by a spiral bacteria called a spirochete.

According to Murakami, there are a couple of problems in the system: First, many people who are bitten by an infected tick don’t notice it and only go to see a doctor if they develop the telltale bull’s-eye rash. He says fewer than half of those who go on to develop Lyme actually get the rash.

Secondly, the approved test for diagnosing Lyme is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, known as the ELISA test. This is a two-step process. Only those who test positive in the first part of the test go on to the second part of the test, known as the Western blot test.

Murakami says the ELISA test often produces false negatives so many people who have Lyme are not being diagnosed — and those who are diagnosed get only a 30-day course of treatment as recommended by the guidelines.

He maintains that months and even years of antibiotic treatment are often necessary to kill all the pathogens. Conventional medicine frowns on long-term antibiotics to treat Lyme — although this is sometimes done for decades at a time to treat acne, according to Murakami.

The other issue is that the magnitude of the problem is hidden because people are not getting diagnosed, he says.

Lyme diagnoses are much higher in Washington state just across the border from B.C., while multiple sclerosis diagnoses are much higher in B.C. Murakami believes some people are being mistakenly and unnecessarily treated for MS when chronic Lyme disease is behind the symptoms.

There is also a big differences on both sides of the border in terms of the proportion of ticks carrying the infection, with officials in states bordering Canada claiming a higher rate of infection for their ticks than neighbouring Canadian jurisdictions, says Murakami, who is skeptical that American ticks are more likely to be infected than their Canadian counterparts.

B.C.’s health ministry has extended the right to prescribe antibiotics to naturopaths and some patients are turning to this option, says Murakami. Ontario naturopaths can’t prescribe antibiotics, and there is currently no indication this is likely to happen in the foreseeable future, according to the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Murakami says he knows of five people who have committed suicide because they are overwhelmed and depressed by chronic Lyme.

“The medical world has a big divide. We owe it to the public to sit down and talk.”

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Lyme+doctor/8363919/story.html#ixzz2Tb1FxVCq

Ottawa Lyme disease sufferers say they aren’t getting the help they need

But medical establishment says controversial antibiotic treatment endangers patients, others

By Joanne Laucius, OTTAWA CITIZEN May 10, 2013

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Ottawa+Lyme+disease+sufferers+they+aren+getting+help+they+need/8363913/story.html#ixzz2SuDHas00

LYME DISEASE: PAINT THE TOWN GREEN

Among the events scheduled this week to raise awareness of Lyme disease:

On Saturday, the heritage portion of Ottawa City Hall will be lit up in green from dusk to dawn and volunteers will be handing out information and “tick keys,” pocket gadgets used to remove ticks.

The CN Tower in Toronto will be lit up in green on Saturday. On May 17, a portion of Niagara Falls will also be illuminated in green.

Dr. Ernie Murakami, a B.C. physician and Lyme advocate, speaks in Ottawa on Monday at 7 p.m. at Saint John Lutheran Church, 270 Crichton St.


Erin Bidlake is one of about 50 people in the Ottawa area who believe they have chronic Lyme disease.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Ottawa+Lyme+disease+sufferers+they+aren+getting+help+they+need/8363913/story.html#ixzz2SuFbrUxn

OTTAWA — Photographer Heather King says she knows where she got Lyme disease. It was taking photos at the Bruce Pit in 2009, where she also picked up pieces of wood and bark for a future project and left them in her closet.

People who are bitten by a Lyme tick often develop a telltale bull’s-eye rash alarming enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. King, 39, didn’t get the rash, but in the weeks and months that followed, she developed mysterious and debilitating symptoms: chronic fatigue, swollen, aching joints, nausea, headaches, neck pain, heart palpitations and “air hunger.”

“It feels like your lungs are filling up with sand and there’s nothing you can do to breathe,” she says.

King felt so anxious that she was terrified to go to the grocery store or to check the mailbox. She says once in 2010 her hand was so swollen, it looked like a baseball glove. She hasn’t worked since.

Physicians and Ottawa Public Health officials take Lyme disease very seriously. People who find a tick attached to their body are urged to remove it carefully, put it in a baggie and bring it to public health for analysis.

Those who have the rash or test positive for the disease are prescribed a round of antibiotics. That usually does the job, although some studies have found that in a minority of cases, the symptoms linger for up to two years.

However, more than 50 people in the Ottawa area, like King, say they were not diagnosed in the early stages of the disease.

They say they are being treated for illnesses like multiple sclerosis and depression when they should be treated for Lyme — and they are forced to find their own treatments through alternative practitioners and “Lyme-literate” physicians in the U.S. who are willing to prescribe long-term antibiotics because the Canadian medical establishment is doing nothing to help.

Hope, B.C.-based Dr. Ernie Murakami, who will be in Ottawa Monday for a speaking engagement, says he was forced into retirement in 2008 for treating patients with long-term antibiotics.

“There is a tremendous fear factor in the medical community because of what happened to me,” says Murakami, who was the subject of a College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. investigation starting in 2005.

“A lot of medical doctors will work under the radar. But they are absolutely petrified.”

Treatments in the U.S. can cost well over $1,000 a month, but infectious diseases experts say long-term antibiotics endanger not just patients, but other people as well. The medical establishment is standing firm. Acute Lyme exists. Chronic Lyme does not.

Dr. Paul Auwaerter, a professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, calls chronic Lyme the same kind of dangerous anti-science as the anti-vaccine movement.

“There are some people who have persistent conditions. There is no disagreement. But it is a small number of people,” says Auwaerter, who is on the board of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which represents about 9,000 specialists in the U.S. and Canada.

Auwaerter says people are being labelled with chronic Lyme and are put on a treatment path that can be life-threatening or even deadly. Patients on long-term antibiotics in the U.S. have died after developing a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Others expose themselves to the risk of C. difficile colitis, which is caused when antibiotics kill “good” bacteria, allowing C. difficile to proliferate and cause burns in the colon, says Auwaerter.

On a societal level, doctors are concerned about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are becoming more common and difficult to treat. He says 14 other medical bodies in North America and Europe also subscribe to guidelines that deny long-term antibiotics.

What is the explanation for these mysterious symptoms? Auwaerter says there are many, including sleep disorders, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression and low testosterone in men.

“There are people who are looking for help. I understand that. But chronic Lyme is a false-paved road.”

At various times in the past two and a half years, Heather King has been diagnosed with anxiety and fibromyalgia. She saw an infectious diseases specialist and a rheumatologist. After she tested negative for Lyme in Canada, King went to the U.S.

Last September, armed with her test results and rebuffed by her doctor in Ottawa, she went to see a “Lyme-literate” doctor in New York who put her on a course of antibiotics that could last as long as three years.

King estimates that she paid $7,000 for alternative treatments before her diagnosis, and since then has spent $1,000 a month on supplements and antibiotics.

“There is a denial that chronic Lyme exists,” says Erin Bidlake, who traces her Lyme to 1999. She was a 20-year-old camp counsellor in Morin Heights, Que. that summer and moved to St. Andrew’s, N.B., as a student in the fall. She had to return home after she woke up with intense back pain one morning in November.

The pain travelled to her knees, feet, arms and neck. It got so bad, she had a hard time brushing her teeth. She made the rounds of medical specialists for years. She was prescribed Prozac because the mysterious illness was believed to be a manifestation of depression.

“If you go to a doctor with acute Lyme disease, you’ll get treated. They don’t seem to have an answer for missed Lyme disease,” says Bidlake, who has taken antibiotics for 18 months and says she’s about 90 per cent better.

Ottawa environmental physician Dr. Jennifer Armstrong considers Lyme when treating a patient who presents with chronic fatigue. But she also looks at other factors, including diet and exposure to moulds and pollen.

She sometimes uses tests from labs in the U.S. and Germany because she believes doctors in Ontario don’t have the tools they need to diagnose.

The Lyme debate is very polarized, says Armstrong. She knows physicians who are afraid to talk about the possibility of chronic Lyme with patients for fear of reprisals from medical bodies.

“You have to ask yourself: ‘What is the politics here?’ ” she says.

“We all have to work together and see what we can do to make these people better.”

The Lyme advocacy movement is now more than 20 years old in the U.S. and has moved into Canada.

Last June, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May introduced a private-member’s bill urging a national Lyme disease strategy. Warming climate means more than 80 per cent of the population of Eastern and Central Canada will be living in areas at risk of Lyme disease by 2020, she says.

May got involved after she met a neighbour in Nova Scotia with a disabling illness in 2005. When she moved to B.C. four years later, she met more people who were depressed, frustrated and desperate to get treatment.

“This office has heard from hundreds of people with Lyme disease,” she says. “It is vastly underestimated. Once I tabled my bill, I had people come up to me on the street.”

Denying the existence of continued infection abandons sick people with a treatable illness, she says.

“I’m an MP, not a doctor. I just want to shine a light on this.”

In the U.S., eight states have enacted legislation to protect “Lyme-literate” physicians from investigation by medical bodies and forcing insurance companies to pay for treatment.

That’s about politics, not medicine, says Auwaerter.

“Go to a Lyme-literate doctor and you will be told you have Lyme.”

And what about going into the woods? Auwaerter, who runs a Lyme clinic in Baltimore, loves camping.

“I don’t live in fear. And I treat a lot of boy scouts.”

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Ottawa+Lyme+disease+sufferers+they+aren+getting+help+they+need/8363913/story.html#ixzz2SuETEiCM

Well there you have it… from CDC themselves.  How are you going to deny that… Bartonella in Lice !!!

Volume 19, Number 2—February 2013

Dispatch

Transmission and Maintenance Cycle of Bartonella quintanaamong Rhesus Macaques, China

Abstract

We detected Bartonella quintana in 48.6% of captive rhesus macaques from an animal facility in Beijing, China. Prevalence of infection increased over the period of observation. Our findings suggest that macaques may serve as reservoir hosts for B. quintana and thatPedicinus obtusus lice might act as efficient vectors.

See link for full Article:

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/19/2/12-0816_article.htm

Lovitt Clyde Theriault

Lovitt Clyde Theriault

Born In: East Ferry, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born: May 19th, 1918

Passed in: Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
Passed on: April 21st, 2011

Lovitt Clyde Theriault – Our long sad goodbye to Lovitt Theriault concluded April 21, 2011, at Tideview Terrace, Digby, where he has resided for over two years, his ‘home away from home’. Lovitt was born in East Ferry on May 19, 1918, thus his life ended just one month before his 93rd birthday. His entire adult life was spent in Tiddville with his one and only love, Mary (Stanton), who pre-deceased him in 2006. He is survived by his three daughters, Sheila Theriault, Janet (Bruce) Coles, and Elizabeth (Gary) Morrison. His four grandchildren were a blessing to him and a source of pleasure. He taught them many things. Dr. Chad (Jodi) Coles, Shari (Heath) Foley, Jeremiah (Sherri Diacon) Morrison and Jessica Morrison and Cara Brendzy will always remember him fondly. Great-grandchildren Chloe Coles, Madison Foley, Rylan Morrison and Olivia Brendzy were reasons for Lovitt to smile in his declining years. Lovitt is survived by his closest friend and brother, Clark (Thelma), and sisters, Rosalind, Lillian and Marilyn. Lovitt’s parents, Herman and Jessie (Lewis), passed away in the 1950s. Lovitt was predeceased by his sisters, Lennie, Evelyn, Dorothy, Freda and Gwendolyn (in infancy); and brothers, Franklin and Lloyd. So many adjectives come to mind to describe this special ‘gentle’ man. He led by his shining example of strength of character, selfless, devoted to his church and community, generous, intelligent, and definitely a forward thinker, always planning his next project. We’ll never forget his sense of humour. One of his best abilities was his capacity to love. Lots of people miss that point in life. “You have to give love in order to get love in return,” so Dad has many friends. They will miss him and remember him as having made this world a better place. Lovitt’s Tideview family was special to him and he felt loved there, even though he didn’t have the words to express his feelings. Heartfelt thanks to all of those who cared for him. Funeral service took place Monday, April 25, 2011 and interment was at East Ferry Cemetery. In memory of Lovitt, donations to CanLyme.org would be appreciated by the family to further research in Lyme disease, or to a charity of choice.

http://www.inmemoriam.ca/view-announcement-230230-lovitt-clyde-theriault.html

Luba’s Lyme Disease Treatment Fundraiser…

Created by Luba Williams on January 16, 2013

About This Page

Hello my name is Luba and I live in Toronto Canada.  I have had Lyme Disease for well over 10 years now, but had been misdiagnosed for almost all of that time. Recently diagnosed I now need to fight to get well, to get treatment and get my life back. I have been homebound for years and the worst of it being the last few.  I was young healthy strong, vibrant before, a hard worker and volunteer.  Canada does not recognize my disease and the doctors who have tried to treat us here have received penalty for doing so therefore they are no more.
My only hope is to try to get to the United States to see  a specialist who knows what they are doing.  I am in late stage chronic neurological lyme.  I am so very ill, I can barely move around our small home from room to room now.  My issues are neurological, muscle weakness, trouble swallowing/talking/walking , severe dizziness and lack of coordination, breathing problems and migraine type headaches and pressure that last weeks or months at a time.  I also have problems with my bladder my bowels and I have severe sensory involvement.  Therefore I have to stay in a dark quiet scent free environment 24 hours a day.  It truly is torture.

Unfortunately two years ago my father passed away, and just prior to his death he was taken by a professional con-artist woman.  She stole nearly $200,000 from our family and fled the country with all the funds, plus more.  She was never criminally charged by police and our family has to now pay all of this money back to the bank or we lose our home .  Otherwise , we could have remortgaged the house for my treatment.  I want to get well to pay all of this off for my mom who takes care of me, she’s now 75 years old and I need to do this for her as much as for me.

In supporting me, I guarantee you I will use my funds to help me get well, and for some medical aids or devices I need like a bath chair/walker and such.  The rest will go to medications and treatment for my illness. I want to be well again and I need to get well to help others.    I thank you for reading my story and I appreciate from my heart any offerings of assistance.  If you too are struggling in life, please hold on and never give up hope. Stay focused on bringing positive things to you and they will come, in time and the right way. We must always believe! Have hope, have life, have love for life !

Please go to link to donate:

http://www.gofundme.com/1uu80s#description

Disease underreported in Canada, expert says

Published on September 14, 2011

Ashley Thompson

Lyme disease is difficult to detect, dangerous if left untreated and commonly misdiagnosed.

It’s also striking close to home.

Heather Carter knew little about Lyme disease until she realized she was experiencing the same symptoms as a friend being treated for the bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through blacklegged tick bites.

Both women, middle-aged Ardoise residents, have been battling extreme fatigue, dizziness, confusion, aching muscles and joints, and a variety of flu-like symptoms this summer.

“It’s not day to day; it’s hour to hour,” said Carter, who no longer drives because she finds it is too difficult to stay alert for an extended period of time.

Carter began taking antibiotics to treat the infection July 28. She did not receive the bulls-eye rash that may appear once someone has been bitten by an infected tick, which makes it easier for doctors to diagnose the disease that has such insidious symptoms it often gets misdiagnosed and left untreated for far too long.

“It’s really quite frightening what can happen if it gets to the chronic stage,” Carter said.

“There are people out there that may have it and not realize it.”

Carter says it is important for people to realize infected ticks are in Nova Scotia. She personally knows of four people in Hants County being treated for Lyme disease.

But, as of Aug. 31, Capital Health Authority spokesman John Gillis said there have been no new cases of Lyme disease reported in Hants County in 2010 or 2011.

Doctor finds statistics misleading

A British Columbia-based Lyme expert, Dr. Ernie Murakami, says relying on reported cases of Lyme disease as an indication of the prevalence of the infection in a Canadian province, or county, can be misleading.

Murakami says there are noteworthy discrepancies between the low quantity of Lyme disease cases reported in Canadian provinces, and the significantly higher number of cases recorded in neighbouring American states.

According to the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control section of the Government of Nova Scotia’s website, 67 cases of Lyme disease have been reported in Nova Scotia since 2002.

Statistics released by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that Maine, the closest American state to Nova Scotia, had 734 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme disease reported in 2010 alone.

Murakami said a comparison of the number of reported cases in Canadian provinces and bordering American states should act as a wake-up call for many Canadian doctors.

“How can you compare single figures versus thousands across the border? I don’t see how the border could make much of a difference,” he said during a phone interview Sept. 7.

Ticks, which are typically found in wooded areas and long grass, have the ability to travel long distances by latching on to larger species, such as birds, deer or mice.

In Canada, Murakami says, patients must test positive for Lyme disease according to an ELISA test — a detection method that he describes as inadequate — before a case is reported to a public health agency.

“We, as Canadian doctors, are doing a great injustice perpetuating a lie that this ELISA test is the golden standard for the diagnosis of Lyme disease.”

Difficult to diagnose

Murakami says the ELISA test periodically produces false negatives, leading medical professionals to misdiagnose patients with Lyme disease and, in doing so, inadvertently prolonging a patient’s suffering.

“The Western blot test is more specific for Lyme disease, but unless the ELISA is positive, it’s not done in Canada,” explained Murakami, noting that he has sent samples to labs in the United States for advanced testing, only to realize the ELISA tests interpreted in Canada produced inaccurate results.

“We, as Canadian doctors, are doing a great injustice perpetuating a lie that this ELISA test is the golden standard for the diagnosis of Lyme disease.”- Dr. Ernie Murakami

“It’s so frustrating for me to see some people sort of slipping through the cracks as far as the diagnosis of Lyme goes, and this is why I’m dedicating my whole life just to try and educate,” he said.

Murakami, a retired family physician who was awarded Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus status at the University of British Columbia, travels throughout the country lecturing at group functions designed to inform the general public, and any health professionals who will listen.

In his presentations, Murakami discusses the importance of treating Lyme disease on a clinical basis upon identifying the symptoms, rather than waiting for the results of an ELISA test to return from the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg.

A directive released by the Public Health Agency of Canada Feb. 25 stated that 24 false-negative results had been returned from the NML, out of about 1,557 samples tested. The misdiagnosed patients were spread throughout five provinces.

“When someone shows symptoms of Lyme disease and might have been exposed to the ticks that carry it, guidelines recommend that physicians treat the illness, even if it has not been confirmed with laboratory testing,” the release stated.

“All laboratory tests have a margin of error, which is why physicians are encouraged to follow the recommended treatment guidelines and treat patients they suspect may have Lyme disease with antibiotics, even without the results of lab tests.”

Living life Lyme literate

Murakami says general practitioners must treat severe cases of Lyme disease with high levels of antibiotics for longer periods of time than the standard two to four weeks that is recommended for infections identified in the early stages.

“We, as professionals, have to get together… and talk about Lyme disease, and learn,” he said.

“It’s really a struggle to try to get people on board.”

Murakami, founder of the Dr. E. Murakami Centre for Lyme, says he has a better understanding of Lyme disease than most people, but he is often hastily dismissed by medical professionals that are hesitant to change how they diagnose and treat it.

“I’ve treated over 3,000 directly, and about 4,000 indirectly through other doctors and specialists,” he said, adding that some physicians still consult him for advice.

If left untreated, Murakami says, Lyme disease can attack every organ in a person’s body. It is commonly misdiagnosed as heart or mood disorders, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ALS or lupus.

Murakami says he has cured people who have been left disabled for years by the debilitating disease, and restored their bodies to good health.

“I have so many happy people telling me what I’ve done for them,” he said.

Murakami will be visiting the Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford at 7 p.m., Sept. 19, to speak about Lyme disease prevention, the proper way to remove a tick, diagnosis methods and treatment options.

The visit to Nova Scotia, Murakami says, is part of his endeavour to promote Lyme literacy from coast to coast.

“I won’t stop.”

To learn more, visit Murakami’s website at www.murakamicentreforlyme.org, or the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation’s website at www.canlyme.com.

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

September 25, 2011 – 3:54am

Discredited test

It’s alarming to read that the person in charge of infectious disease control in Nova Scotia is asserting that doctors should be relying on blood tests for a diagnosis of Lyme disease (re: “Doctors blamed for mishandling Lyme disease,” Sept. 22).

The Public Health Agency of Canada quite clearly recommends: “When someone shows symptoms of Lyme disease and might have been exposed to the ticks that carry it … physicians [should] treat the illness, even if it has not been confirmed with laboratory testing.”

Furthermore, the ELISA test used here is notoriously unreliable, and at least one Lyme disease specialist has publicly urged that it be banned.

The number of Lyme cases officially recognized by the province (67) remains laughably small by comparison with the actual cases.

It’s high time that the Health Department records the number of people being treated, rather than the number of positive results on a discredited test.

Gillian Thomas, Ardoise

Deserve better

In your Sept. 22 article “Doctors blamed for mishandling Lyme disease,” Elaine Holmes, the province’s director of communicable disease prevention control, is reported as saying, “Nova Scotia uses blood tests to confirm Lyme disease” and “any clinical diagnoses in Nova Scotia must be followed up by a blood test.”

I draw to your attention an article in The Chronicle Herald in February, titled “Lyme disease tests gave false all-clear to 13 Nova Scotians — health officer.”

In this article, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, is quoted as saying, “Often our recommendation to physicans is if somebody has been in an area of high risk or has a likely or known tick bite and then also has clinical symptoms, to go ahead and … treat the person. And we’ll continue to call them a Lyme disease case and everything regardless of what the lab tests show.”

Elaine Holmes’ statements are in direct opposition to Dr. Strang’s.

Both of these individuals are employed by the Health Department of Nova Scotia. Does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing?

With the mishandling, underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of Lyme disease in this province, it is not the health professionals who are suffering. It is the Lyme disease victims.

We deserve better.

Paula Isenor, Bedford

Our Nova Scotian girl and her mother both have Lyme disease and need help. If you are in a position to assist in any way it would be enormously appreciated. Please and heartfelt Thank-you’s in advance.

My daughter and I have been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. She is 12 and has it since she was two and a half. I was just recently diagnosed and have had it for almost 17 years without knowing. We are fighting our government to have this terrible disease reconized, and treated in Canada. I am unable to work now and have no income coming in and treatment is hard. We are surviving on my husbands pension. Anyone wishing to help in this fight against Lyme is welcome to do so. Thank you in advance.

TINY TICK, BIG THREAT: Dutchess leads state in babesiosis, another threat, besides Lyme disease, if you’re bitten by a deer tick

Illness can be passed through blood, but no test screens for it

7:22 PM, Dec 23, 2012

Babesiosis, a tick-borne disease that is growing more common, can be passed through blood transfusion from donors who do not know they are infected. This unit of donated red blood cells was seen at a blood bank in 2008. / Darryl Bautista/Poughkeepsie Journal

One was a 44-day-old baby with malformed lungs, another an 11-year-old boy on chemotherapy for a brain tumor. A third was a heart transplant recipient, 54, and three more were premature infants.

All received blood tainted with a rapidly spreading tick-borne parasite that infected four times as many New Yorkers last year as in 2002. The state ranked first nationwide in 2011 for the malaria-like malady, called babesiosis, and Dutchess County ranked first in the state, according to state and federal data obtained by the Poughkeepsie Journal. As the number of cases rises, babesiosis is poised to become a tick-borne scourge akin to Lyme disease, but with an especially vicious twist. The sometimes-fatal disease can pass from blood donors who do not know they are infected into a blood supply that has no test to screen for it. That’s why transfusion-transmitted babesiosis tripled from 26 cases nationwide in the first half of the 2000s to 83 in the latter half, according to a 2011 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a medical journal. There were 60 cases in New York since 1979 — with nearly half, 28, from 2005 to 2011. Of the six transfusion cases above, reported by physicians at two New York City hospitals, the heart recipient and two of the babies became ill, according to medical articles. They recovered, usually with treatment involving antibiotics and anti-malarial drugs. But at least 26 people have died since 1979 after receiving blood tainted with the Babesia pathogen — 10 since 2007, federal research shows. They include a 43-year-old woman with hepatitis C; a woman, 47, with diabetes and kidney disease; and a 76-year-old man with leukemia. Indeed, the elderly and sick are most vulnerable to babesiosis — and most likely to need transfused blood. Babesiosis is caused by a parasite, usually Babesia microti but other Babesia strains as well, that invades red blood cells; symptoms include fever, drenching sweats, muscle pain and anemia that may lead to internal bleeding and organ failure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first national figures show 1,124 cases in 2011 from 17 reporting states. Nearly half of cases for which information was available resulted in hospitalization, while 6 percent to 9 percent of patients hospitalized for babesiosis died, according to one small study from the Lower Hudson Valley and two others from Long Island. “The situation with rising risk and incidence of babesiosis is alarming,” said Richard Ostfeld, a senior scientist at Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook who this month reported nearly 1 in 5 ticks infected with Babesia on lands near the institute. That’s likely the highest reported rate in nymphal, or juvenile, black-legged ticks, the most dangerous stage when barely visible to the people they bite.

Little progress

Though the first transfusion-transmitted babesiosis case was reported in Boston in 1979, little has been done to protect the blood supply except to preclude donors who are known to have had babesiosis, according to interviews and a review of scientific literature. But with only 123 out of 23 million donors reporting having babesiosis from 2005 to 2007, that measure has been “largely ineffective,” said David Leiby, top researcher on the disease for the American Red Cross. A case in point is the six New York transfusion cases, involving two donors — from Suffolk and Westchester counties — who had not been sick with an infection that may not emerge for years, if at all. Just why tainted blood is slipping through the system relates to the high cost of developing a test that will have limited use and, therefore, limited earning potential for test manufacturers, scientists say. The test would be used primarily in just seven states — five in the Northeast and two in the upper Midwest — where the disease is considered native, or endemic. That’s a new challenge for a blood supply that operates on a national level, testing all blood for HIV, hepatitis B and C and West Nile virus. “The return on investment is not sufficient,” said Michael Busch, director of Blood Systems Research Institute, a San Francisco-based blood-safety research center. “That’s kind of created a lack of willingness.” Though at least three possible tests are in various stages of development, there was no indication when one might wend its way through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration licensing process, and the FDA said it could not comment on any trials. In the meantime, blood-supply officials sought to reassure the public on blood-supply reliability.
See full Story:

ABOUT THIS SERIES

This is part 7 in a Poughkeepsie Journal series on the prevalence and problems of Lyme disease, the nation’s most common vector-borne disease. Go to www.pough- keepsiej- ournal.com/ lyme to read previous installments, view videos and read reports on Lyme disease and babesiosis.

Seffernsville resident goes undiagnosed for two years

by Paula Levy

After two years of being ill, Shaelene Robar, Seffernsville, has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. The 15 year old's mother, Gail, has been advocating on her daughter's behalf.

It took two years for 15-year-old Shaelene Robar of Seffernsville to get a diagnosis and begin treatment for Lyme disease. The girl’s mother, Gail Robar, would not give up advocating for her daughter until she received answers and treatment.

 In December of 2008, Shaelene suddenly became ill. She and her family thought her illness was simply the flu. But the body aches and fever continued long after a normal flu illness would have cleared.

 ”The doctor kept saying that she would just be better, that it was a virus and it would just go away,” said Gail.

 But the symptoms would not go away and Shaelene began to become more and more ill. Over the coming months her fatigue, nausea, dizziness and now stomach pain intensified. Her mother took her to see doctors and specialists but no one could pinpoint the cause of Shaelene’s illness.

 Gail said during that time Shaelene was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, figbromyalagia and a mental illness. No treatments for these diseases helped and over the course of nearly two years, Shaelene kept getting sicker and sicker. She was also once thought to have anorexia because the teenager had lost over 30 pounds.

Shaelene said she had to drop out of school in Grade 8 because she was unable to cope with the extreme fatigue, dizziness and pain. This year she is supposed to be attending Grade 10 but she was only able to go to school for five days at the beginning of the year.

 ”I’m nauseous and I’m too weak to even move half the time,” said Shaelene.

 Gail said she realized that Shaelene had been bitten by ticks the summer before she became mysteriously ill. Her mother noted since the Robars do not live in an area that has the type of ticks – deer or blacklegged ticks – which are known to carry Lyme disease, at first Lyme didn’t seem possible. Gail said the ticks in their area are dog ticks, but now she is convinced that they too can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

 The Public Health Agency of Canada maintains that blacklegged ticks are the only carriers that can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

 Research scientist Dr. Robbin Lindsay said in Canada, the blacklegged tick and the western blacklegged tick are the types of ticks known to transmit Lyme disease to humans.

 ”While there have been several scientific research studies demonstrating that on rare occasions other types of ticks including the dog tick and insects like mosquitoes, fleas and certain biting flies can be infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, they are not infectious and cannot transmit the bacteria to humans,” said Dr. Lindsay.

 Despite not having the well-known carriers of Lyme disease in her backyard, Shaelene was clearly ill. And Gail maintained that her daughter had contracted the disease. Her physician screened the young woman for Lyme disease. But that test proved negative. Lyme disease tests are first screened in Nova Scotia. Only those who screen positive are sent for further testing to the national lab in Winnipeg. Gail said the screening test is not reliable.

 ”The test is not reliable whatsoever. Those people that don’t test positive are out of luck,” she said.

The unreliability of the test is also maintained by Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.

 ”The present testing methods used were shown to be faulty,” said Mr. Wilson, quoting a January 2011 study. “It has been misdiagnosed as everything from multiple sclerosis, to chronic fatigue, Parkinsonism, irritable bowel syndrome, various forms of arthritis, psychiatric issues, heart conditions, and on and on. Canada just happens to have the highest rates in the world of these diagnoses but very little Lyme.” The foundation believes that Public Health is underestimating the burden of Lyme disease in Canada.

 Still convinced that Lyme disease was the culprit for her daughter’s illness, Gail continued to advocate on her daughter’s behalf. She took Shaelene to Port Hawkesbury to see a family physician who is known to treat patients suspected of having Lyme disease. He was contacted but did not return calls. However, through this physician, Gail paid $500 to have her daughter’s blood work sent to American laboratory IGene-X Inc.

 That test came back positive. But even though Shaelene has a positive diagnosis, it is not accepted in Canada because the laboratory is not a government-run lab.

 Gail said now that Shaelene finally has a diagnosis after two years, she is currently being treated with antibiotics by the physician in Port Hawkesbury. Shaelene said this course of antibiotics began in December and she has some improvement.

 ”I’ve been able to eat a lot more,” said Shaelene. But the teenager is still weak. Her mother expects it will take some time before Shaelene is able to return to a normal life.

 The Public Health Agency’s website states there are several antibiotics which can treat the illness but the sooner treatment starts, the better. In addition, it states that people with certain neurological or cardiac problems may require intravenous treatment and patients diagnosed in the later stages of the disease can have persistent or recurrent symptoms requiring a longer course of antibiotic treatment

The symptoms of Lyme disease usually happen in three stages. The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash which occurs in about 70 to 80 per cent of infected people. It begins at the site of the tick bite after a delay of three days to one month.

 Other common symptoms include

 * fatigue

 * chills

 * fever

 * headache

 * muscle and joint pain

 * swollen lymph nodes

 If untreated, the second stage of the disease can last up to several months and include

 * central and peripheral nervous system disorders

 * multiple skin rashes

 * arthritis and arthritic symptoms

 * heart palpitations

 * extreme fatigue and general weakness

If the disease remains untreated, the third stage can last months to years with symptoms that can include recurring arthritis and neurological problems.

 -The Public Health Agency of Canada

 

posted on 03/15/11

First study on birds as hosts of Lyme Disease

09.01.2013

Researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal lead the first study on the role of birds as reservoir hosts of the bacterium that causes Lyme borreliosis. The blackbird is a major reservoir host of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., responsible for Lyme disease – a disease that, if not treated at an early stage, causes severe lesions in the neurological, dermatological and articular systems.

This is the main conclusion of the first study in Portugal focused on the role of birds as agents for spread of infectious disease and as a reservoir of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., which is maintained in nature by various groups of vertebrates, including birds and some species of mammals and reptiles. This bacterium is transmitted by ticks, especially Ixodes ricinus.

Funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the study was developed over the past three years by a team of five researchers from the University of Coimbra, Center for the Study of Infectious Disease Vectors and the Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Institute of Health and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

Lyme disease, whose incidence is particularly high in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, was discovered for the first time in Portugal in 1989, and the first case was diagnosed in the region of Évora. Since then, about 35 new cases occur annually.

Although the incidence of disease is low in Portugal, “it is important to be informed about the risk of transmission of this disease and how to prevent it because the diagnosis is difficult due to the fact that early symptoms are similar to other diseases. This research provides valuable information to define the areas of risk and factors that influence the emergence of diseases transmitted by ticks and possibly prevent disease outbreaks”, states Cláudia Norte, coordinator of the study, which has already been published in international journals Environmental Microbiology and Experimental Applied Acarology.

Moreover, the researcher continues, “More and more people travel to other countries, including in areas where prevalence is high. Information is essential to take proper care”. “Thus”, she advises, “The use of light-colored clothes for a walk in the countryside or in the woods, where there are ticks normally, and looking to see if any tick is lodged in the body are a good idea. If so, remove it as soon as possible because the bacterium takes a few hours to pass effectively to a human. After the bite, if the disease is not properly treated with antibiotics at an early stage, bacteria can spread throughout the body and cause serious injury at neurological, cardiac and articular levels”.

The study also allowed the identification of a new strain of bacterium in Portugal – B. turdi – comprised by the capture of birds abundant in Portugal (about 20 species) for collecting blood samples and other tissues and ticks which were parasites on these birds. These samples have been evaluated at the molecular level to verify that  they were infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.

Plants were harvested at Tapada de Mafra and Mata do Choupal, monthly, for one year to assess seasonal variations in the abundance, distribution and infestation of ticks. With this approach, the researchers obtained information on what types of birds contribute most to the maintenance of different species of ticks and of course to the pathogens that may be carried.

See Article here:

http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/09-01-2013/123426-study_birds-0/

Lyme disease test kits and limitations
 

Key points

• Serologic test results are
supplemental to the clinical
diagnosis of Lyme disease and
should not be the primary basis for
making diagnostic or treatment
decisions.

• Lyme disease test kits have
sensitivity and specificity
limitations.

• Health care professionals should
be aware of these limitations and
are encouraged to report
suspected incidents, including
false-positive and false-negative
results, to Health Canada.

Lyme disease test kits are class II (IV
being the highest risk class) in vitro
diagnostic devices. The devices are
intended for the detection of antibodies
to Borrelia burgdorferi in human serum,
plasma or cerebrospinal fluid.1 They are
used to provide serologic evidence of
B. burgdorferi exposure.1 Infection can
result in dermatologic, neurologic,
cardiac and musculoskeletal disorders.2
Serologic testing is the only
standardized type of laboratory
investigation available to support the
clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease in
North America.3 The public health
agencies of Canada and the United
States recommend a two-tiered
approach for blood testing when Lyme
disease is suspected.3–7 The first tier
consists of an enzyme immunoassay,
such as an enzyme-linked
immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or an
indirect immunofluorescent assay. If the
result of first-tier testing is negative, the
sample is reported to be negative for
antibodies to B. burgdorferi and is not
tested further. If the result is positive or
indeterminate, second-tier testing with
a standardized Western blot is then
performed.3–5
As of June 2012, Health Canada
received one incident report of
false-negative serologic test results for
24 patients that may have delayed
treatment. Timely recognition of Lyme
disease and treatment are imperative to
facilitate recovery and prevent longterm
sequelae.2,7,8
The currently available Lyme disease
test kits have been found to have
limitations of sensitivity and specificity,
particularly when used on patients with
acute infection, which is usually easily
treated with antibiotics.7,9 Even when
the conventional two-tiered testing
approach is used, the sensitivity and
specificity of the combined test results
can be less than optimal.9–11 In a
comprehensive study of 280 serum
samples from well-characterized Lyme
disease patients, the sensitivity of the
two-tiered approach was as low as 38%
for the sera of patients who had
erythema migrans during the acute
phase and 67% during their
convalescence after antimicrobial
treatment.10 In late Lyme disease, the
sensitivity increased to 87% for the
sera of patients with early
neuroborreliosis and to 97% for the
sera of patients with Lyme arthritis.10
Many factors contribute to falsenegative
or false-positive serologic test
results for Lyme disease.1,7,9,11–14 In
general, false-negative results have
been attributed to (a) a slow antibody
response early in the course of the
disease, (b) genetic diversity of
B. burgdorferi and (c) treatment with
antibiotics. False-positive results have
been attributed to (a) cross-reacting
antibodies due to other conditions or
infections and (b) the persistence of
antibodies after disease resolution.
Variability in serologic test results for
Lyme disease may also be related to
interlaboratory differences and lack of
interassay standardization. 9,13,14
In contrast to the known HIV
serologic testing using the two-tiered
algorithm to confirm diagnosis, the
Lyme disease test kits are not designed
to screen patients or to establish a
clinical diagnosis.9,12 A positive test
result does not necessarily indicate
current infection with B. burgdorferi,
and a negative result, especially early
in the course of infection, does not
exclude B. burgdorferi infection as
the cause of illness.9–12 Serologic test
results should be used to support a
clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease and
should not be the primary basis for
making diagnostic or treatment
decisions.1,11 Diagnosis should be based
on patient history, which includes
symptoms and exposure to the tick
vector, and physical findings.4,11,15
Health care professionals should be
aware of the limitations of Lyme
disease test kits and are encouraged to
report suspected incidents, including
false-positive and false-negative results,
to Health Canada (www.hc-sc.gc.ca
/dhp-mps/medeff/report-declaration
/index-eng.php).
Rana Filfil, PhD, Health Canada

See full Article here:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/bulletin/carn-bcei_v22n4-eng.php