Lyme Disease Halifax

Lyme Disease – Information on Lyme Disease- Life stories of Lyme disease

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:

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, or the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation’s website at

Lone Stars

January 15, 2013
Like their facebook page-great pictures and resource !!!

Dr. Mike Dryden, TickEncounter’s tick guy in Kansas sent along their first report of ticks for 2013. A senior veterinary student took two adult A. americanum off a horse yesterday. One was engorged. Even with the mild winter in Kansas, seeing Lone Stars in January is very unusual. Thanks for the update, Mike.


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.

By Ed Stannard, New Haven Register

Posted:   01/16/2013 05:55:57 PM EST

A new tick-borne infection, similar to Lyme disease, has been found in humans in this region for the first time, according to researchers at the Yale schools of Public Health and Medicine.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A new tick-borne infection, similar to Lyme disease, has been found in humans in the Northeast region for the first time, according to researchers at the Yale schools of Public Health and Medicine.And while its unfamiliarity may result in some misdiagnosis — the disease, carried by deer ticks, has yet to be given a name — the good news is that the same treatment used for Lyme disease will cure this infection as well.

The report, whose primary author is Dr. Peter Krause, senior research scientist at the School of Public Health, is published in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

So far 18 patients in southern New England and New York state have been found to have the infection, caused by a bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, according to a release. It was first found in ticks in 1995 in Japan, then in deer ticks in Connecticut in 2001, Krause said.

“The first time it was discovered in humans was 2011,” when 46 cases of this disease were reported in central Russia, he said.

The discovery is unusual because usually new tick-borne diseases are found when people get sick and then are traced to the insect.

“This is the first time we have found an infectious organism carried by ticks before we have recognized the disease in humans,” said Durland Fish, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and the study s senior author, in the release. “We usually discover new diseases during an epidemic and then try to figure out what is causing it.”

While the number of cases so far is small, Krause said there are 30,000 reported cases of Lyme disease in this country each year, and that infection is probably seven times as common as the new disease, which would make more than 4,000 cases. But scientists believe the actual number of Lyme disease infections each year is 10 times as high as the reported number.

Symptoms are similar to Lyme – fever, headache, muscle ache and fatigue – but 10 percent of the Russian patients also had relapses of their fever.

“They had fever; it was there a few days … anywhere between a week and a month later they came down with fever again,” Krause said.

Some people have had as many as 10 relapses over the course of a year.

The Americans discovered with the infection “were treated for suspected Lyme disease so they didn’t have relapsing fever … I think it s likely that some people will have relapsing fever from this,” Krause said.

One way to diagnose the new disease is by the two-part Lyme screening test. Unfortunately, these patients with miyamotoi … some of them tested positive to that first screening test … but when we did the second test … that test was negative,” Krause said. That result points to the new infection, he said.

“I think we could expect looking ahead that we will find a lot more of these cases,” Krause said.

See link here:
CMAJ. 2001 June 12

Transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in Ontario: first reported case in Canada


BABESIOSIS HAS ONLY RECENTLY BEEN REPORTED in Canada, but a number of transfusion-transmitted cases of this infection have been reported from the United States. We present a case of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis that occurred in Canada. Canadian physicians must consider babesiosis in the differential diagnosis of patients who experience fever or a hemolytic reaction after blood transfusion. Prompt recognition and treatment are important, because Babesia infections can be severe or fatal in certain risk groups. Better strategies to prevent transfusion-transmitted babesiosis are required.

Case report

A 53-year-old immunocompetent, spleen-intact woman presented on Oct. 23, 1998, with a history of dyspepsia and melena stools. Her hemoglobin level was 69 (normally 120–140) g/L, and on Nov. 6, 1998, she received a transfusion of 3 units of packed erythrocytes. After the transfusion, her hemoglobin level rose to 106 g/L. Endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract was performed at that time, and the results were normal. She was readmitted on Feb. 25, 1999, for colonoscopy. At that time, her hemoglobin level was 70 g/L, and she received 2 more units of packed erythrocytes. Her post-transfusion hemoglobin level was 104 g/L. The results of colonoscopy were normal, but a small-bowel follow-through examination revealed an annular tumor of the small intestine, which was laparoscopically resected on Mar. 9, 1999.

The patient was readmitted on Apr. 11, 1999, after 7 days of high fever, chills, diaphoresis, nausea and weakness. Her temperature on admission was 40°C. Laboratory investigations showed that her hemoglobin level was low, at 66 g/L, and that total bilirubin was elevated, at 31 (normally less than 17) ?mol/L, as was lactate dehydrogenase, at 161 (normally 45–90) U/L, and aspartate aminotransferase, at 63 (normally less than 35) U/L. Examination of peripheral blood smears revealed intraerythrocytic ring forms, which were initially attributed to Plasmodium falciparum infection, with a parasitemia of 2.5%. The smears were reviewed at the Centre for Travel and Tropical Medicine, Toronto General Hospital, where at least 400 smear fields (magnification 1000?) were examined from Giemsa-stained thick and thin films of whole blood, and babesiosis was diagnosed on the basis of the typical intraerythrocytic forms observed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of whole blood was positive for Babesia microti.1,2 The patient was treated for 7 days with quinine (600 mg three times daily) and clindamycin (600 mg three times daily). She responded to therapy and was asymptomatic at follow-up 3 months later. Follow-up blood smears were negative for Babesia.

In November 1998 the patient had received 3 units of packed erythrocytes from 3 donors. The first donor was a 46-year-old man who had donated blood 9 times previously. He had travelled to Pennsylvania in March 1998 and had camped in rural areas in Ontario. He did not remember any tick bites and remained well during follow-up. He returned for follow-up serologic and PCR testing for babesiosis. The serum specimens were tested by indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay for reactivity to B. microti (testing performed at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta). The results of blood film examination, serologic testing and PCR testing were all negative. The second donor was a 43-year-old woman who had donated blood products 8 times previously. She had not travelled outside Canada in the previous year and had done no camping or rural travel within Canada. She also remained well. The results of blood film examination, serologic testing and PCR testing were also negative (for both of these donors, at least 400 smear fields were examined from Giemsa-stained thick and thin films of whole blood at the Centre for Travel and Tropical Medicine). The third donor was a 22-year-old first-time male donor who had travelled to Taiwan in January 1998 and to an urban area in the United States (Chicago) in August 1998. He had remained well during and after travel. He did not provide a follow-up blood sample.

During the February 1999 admission, the patient had received 2 units of packed erythrocytes from 2 donors. One was a 48-year-old man who had donated blood 9 times previously. He donated blood on Feb. 6, 1999, and a unit of packed erythrocytes from his donation was transfused into the recipient on Feb. 26, 1999. He had travelled recently to South America but had not travelled in the United States in the previous 3 years. He remained well and submitted a follow-up blood sample. The results of blood film examination, serologic testing and PCR testing were negative (for this donor and the next one, at least 400 smear fields were examined from Giemsa-stained thick and thin films of whole blood at the Centre for Travel and Tropical Medicine). The other donor was a 40-year-old man who had donated blood twice previously. He had been camping in rural and forested areas in Cape Cod, Mass., in August 1998. He did not remember receiving any tick bites and denied any febrile illnesses during or after his return from Cape Cod. He donated a unit of blood on Feb. 6, 1999, and a unit of packed erythrocytes from this donation was transfused into the recipient on Feb. 25, 1999. A follow-up blood sample from this donor was positive for B. microti by blood smear and by PCR testing. The results of serologic testing for Babesia were also positive, at a titre of 1:1024 by immunofluorescent antibody assay (titres generally become positive 1 to 2 weeks after infection). Serum samples were also tested for human monocytic and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease by the Ontario Ministry of Health laboratory, but the results were negative. The donor remained well and was treated for 7 days with quinine (600 mg three times daily) and clindamycin (600 mg three times daily). Blood smears obtained 1 month after completion of therapy showed no infection.


Human babesiosis is a tick-borne zoonosis caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia. Although the genus comprises more than 100 species, most cases of human babesiosis in North America are caused by B. microti,1,3,4,5 usually transmitted by a bite from the deer or black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis.3,4,5 Current areas where the disease is endemic include the northeastern (notably New York State [specifically Long Island], Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts [specifically Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard]) and upper midwestern (notably Wisconsin) United States. As was the case for the infected donor described here, people with babesiosis may remain asymptomatic but parasitemic for months to years after tick transmission of the infection.6 The clinical manifestations of babesiosis range from no symptoms to severe, occasionally fatal disease characterized by fever, intravascular hemolysis and renal failure. Severe disease is more common in asplenic people, elderly patients and those with underlying immunodeficiency, including AIDS.5,7,8 Even with treatment, the case fatality rate in a series of 136 patients in New York State was 5%.5

Babesia parasites invade the erythrocytes and remain viable under blood bank conditions, making transfusion-transmitted babesiosis a risk of transfusion with blood components such as platelet concentrates, packed erythrocytes, and frozen, thawed and deglycerolized erythrocytes.9,10,11,12,13,14 At least 21 cases of babesiosis acquired by blood transfusion have been recognized in the United States, which makes babesiosis the most commonly reported transfusion- transmitted tick-borne infection.9,10,11,12,13,14 In a study of transfusion recipients in Connecticut, an area where babesiosis is endemic, Gerber and colleagues13 reported a risk of 0.17% per unit of packed erythrocytes. The risk of acquiring babesiosis from a blood transfusion in Canada is unknown, but we suspect that it is very low.

This is the first reported case of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in Canada.15 Remarkably, the first recognized case of babesiosis in Canada was reported only 2 years ago, in 1999.1 The present case highlights the rapidity with which newly recognized infectious agents can threaten blood safety.

In Canada, blood banks do not routinely ask donors about travel to Babesia-endemic areas, tick bites or history of babesiosis. Because most immunocompetent people who acquire babesiosis do not remember receiving a tick bite and most have either minimal or no symptoms, few infected donors would be identified by such questioning. Most cases of babesiosis in the northeastern United States are acquired during peak tick activity (June to September).4 Consequently the risk of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis might be expected to be greatest during the summer.13 However, infected people may remain parasitemic for up to several years and packed erythrocytes are stored for up to 42 days, so even seasonal deferral of potentially high-risk donors could not be expected to prevent this problem.

As in previously reported cases of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis in the United States, the recipient of the infected blood product in this case exhibited moderate to severe manifestations of infection,9 beginning within the typical period of symptom onset (usually 4 to 9 weeks after transfusion9,10,11,12,13,14). Both the donor and the recipient were treated with a combination of quinine and clindamycin, and both had a satisfactory response. Recent reports have described a number of patients who have not responded optimally to this traditional therapy. These patients generally responded to the combination of azithromycin and atovaquone.16,17

Give the large numbers of Canadians who visit Babesia-endemic regions of the United States each year, we must anticipate an increase in the number of cases of imported babesiosis and the potential for transfusion-transmitted disease in this country. As the geographic distribution of animal reservoirs and tick vectors increases, the incidence of babesiosis and subsequent transfusion-transmitted infections can also be expected to increase.3,14,18,19 Furthermore, tick-borne and transfusion-transmitted infections with related parasites, including the piroplasms WA1 and MO1, have recently been reported.20,21

Canadian physicians must consider babesiosis in the differential diagnosis of any patient who experiences fever or a hemolytic reaction soon after blood transfusion. Prompt recognition and accurate diagnosis are important, because even though Babesia infections usually respond to therapy, they may be severe or fatal in certain risk groups. Better strategies to prevent transfusion-transmitted babesiosis are required.


This study was supported in part by Health Canada, Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control. Dr. Kain is supported by a Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry of Health.

This article has been peer reviewed.

Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association

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:


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- 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

http:// wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ Internationales-Saarbrücker-LB- Symposium.pdf

Zunächst machte Dr. Hopf-Seidel noch einmal darauf aufmerksam, dass Zecken für die Krankheitsübertragung nicht mindestens 24 Stunden Saugzeit benötigen. Es gibt Untersuchungen, die zeigen, dass es bereits nach wesentlich kürzerer Kontaktzeit zu Borreliose- Infektionen kommen kann, des Weiteren ist eine Übertragung beispielsweise durch Bremsen ebenfalls kasuistisch belegt.

Bei heftigen Rückenschmerzen gab Fr. Dr. Hopf-Seidel Hinweise darauf, wie man einen Bandscheibenvorfall ausschließen könne: Wer besonders nachts, im Liegen und nicht bei Bewegung heftige Schmerzen im Rücken habe, die nicht auf Antirheumatika ansprechen und sich nach Kortisongaben sogar verschlechtern, könne davon ausgehen, dass es sich nicht um einen Bandscheibenvorfall handelt, sondern eine andere Ursache gesucht werden müsse, auch wenn ein CT oder NMR keine Auffälligkeiten zeigen.

In Bezug auf Entzündungsparameter ist das CRP meist nicht erhöht, auch andere Werte seien meist unauffällig; allerdings findet man häufig erhöhte TNF alpha, IL 1 und IFN gamma Werte – diese sollte man untersuchen.


First, Dr. Hopf Seidel did point out once again that ticks for disease transmission does not require at least 24 hours absorption time. There are studies that show that it can already come to a much shorter contact time to Lyme infection, is further assigned a transmission example by braking too casuistic.
When severe back pain was Mrs. Dr. Hopf Seidel clues as to how one can rule out a herniated disc: Who especially at night, lying down and not moving severe pain in the back, had been unresponsive to anti-inflammatory drugs and deteriorate after cortisone even likely, assume that it is not a herniated disc is but another cause must be sought even if a CT or MRI reveals no abnormality.
In relation to inflammatory markers, CRP is usually not increased, other values ??are usually unremarkable, although there are often increased TNF alpha, IL-1 and IFN gamma values ??- this one should investigate

First, Dr. Hopf Seidel did point out once again that ticks for disease transmission does not require at least 24 hours absorption time. There are studies that show that it can already come to a much shorter contact time to Lyme infection, is further assigned a transmission example by braking too casuistic.
When severe back pain was Mrs. Dr. Hopf Seidel clues as to how one can rule out a herniated disc: Who especially at night, lying down and not moving severe pain in the back, had been unresponsive to anti-inflammatory drugs and deteriorate after cortisone even likely, assume that it is not a herniated disc is but another cause must be sought even if a CT or MRI reveals no abnormality.
In relation to inflammatory markers, CRP is usually not increased, other values ??are usually unremarkable, although there are often increased TNF alpha, IL-1 and IFN gamma values ??- this one should investigate.

See full Article:

http:// wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ Internationales-Saarbrücker-LB- Symposium.pdf

Picture from:

Deutsche Lyme Borreliose Hilfe

First study on birds as hosts of Lyme Disease


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:

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

• Lyme disease test kits have
sensitivity and specificity

• 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
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
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 (
Rana Filfil, PhD, Health Canada

See full Article here:

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“Courage and cheerfulness will not only carry you over the rough places in life, but will enable you to bring comfort and help to the weak-hearted and will console you in the sad hours”

A tiny Lyme-bearing Pacific black-legged tick on a person's arm.

By Sean McIntyre – Gulf Islands Driftwood
Published: July 04, 2012 9:00 AM
Updated: July 04, 2012 10:07 AM
When Salt Spring’s Terri Bibby noticed a bite that developed a red rash after a hike in 2009, she never imagined that she would find herself becoming part of a major medical controversy, requiring years of expensive medical treatment and having to cope with the life-altering symptoms of Lyme disease.

As in the case of many other Canadians in her situation, Bibby was unable to receive a proper diagnosis because of the medical community’s ongoing discord about the disease’s prevalence, diagnosis and treatment. “There is no Lyme in B.C.,” she recalls being told at the Victoria hospital where she was taken by ambulance.

The introduction of a private member’s bill by Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May on June 21 has offered some hope that others faced with potential infection won’t have to undergo the same sense of isolation and frustration experienced by Bibby and countless others.

“This is the ultimate of non-partisan issues. This is the ultimate of non-geographically limited issues,” said the Green Party of Canada leader, while introducing Bill C-442 in the House of Commons. “We are, in each of our ridings, facing an increasing threat to our constituents and their families from a very tiny threat: a tiny tick that is spreading and spreading and can bring debilitating illness to any one of us at any time.”

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans by ticks, insects that can often be as small as a poppy seed.

May wants to implement a nationwide discussion and subsequent strategy to address the affects of Lyme disease. The proposal, she said, would serve to promote awareness, better diagnosis, offer treatments and examine best practices used in other parts of the world. If the bacteria isn’t detected and treated at the correct moment, the disease’s symptoms can include fever, severe headaches and joint pain, along with other cognitive and neurological debilitations.

“With climate change anticipated to change the number of vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease, development of a formal federal strategy will become a high priority.

“At a time when many U.S. states have tackled this urgent issue head on, it is ironic that Canada still downplays Lyme disease and clings to outdated standards for diagnosis and care,” reads part of a statement released in conjunction with May’s announcement.

“This means that every year hundreds, even thousands, of Canadians either go untreated or are required to go to the United States for treatment where they are prescribed heavy doses of antibiotics not covered by our provincial healthcare plans,” May said.

In Bibby’s case, several trips were made to Seattle and New York state to see specialists and undergo a definitive test that shows she still has Lyme disease after three years of various treatments.

This personal experience encouraged Bibby’s husband, an award-wining documentary filmmaker, to begin work on a film titled A New Lens on Lyme that looks at the latest research on Lyme and associated diseases that are transmitted by ticks.

“The film is science-based,” said Alan Bibby. “It will contain information about the debate in the medical community, but we want to go beyond the rhetoric. The biggest questions involve the reliability of tests, the safety and efficacy of antibiotic treatments and whether the disease-causing organisms can be permanently eliminated. We want to document success stories — those chronic Lyme patients that have achieved a quality of life: what worked for them? We would like something positive to come out of this.”

Bibby has taped local stories and interviewed “Lyme-literate” doctors, specialists and scientists in the United States, where reported cases of Lyme infections are between 20,000 and 30,000 individuals per year. Given that ticks can be found anywhere in the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, Bibby urges people who spend any amount of time outdoors to inspect themselves for possible bites on a regular basis.

Ticks are best removed by a slow and gentle pull with fingers or tweezers. Specialized tick removers are available through local retailers and people with any concerns can always visit Lady Minto Hospital.

The best way to lower the odds of contracting Lyme disease is through prevention. In addition to regular tick checks, the Vancouver Island Health Authority recommends people walk on cleared trails wherever possible, wear light coloured clothing, tuck shirts into pants and tuck pants into boots or socks, use a DEET-based insect repellant on all uncovered skin, inspect clothing and scalp when leaving tick-prone areas like grassy fields of forests, and regularly check household pets.

Should symptoms like a bull’s-eye rash develop around the bitten area, Bibby recommends people consult a physician and insist upon immediate antibiotic treatment. “Don’t wait for unreliable testing,” he said.

Bibby said anyone who wants to share their experience with Lyme disease is encouraged to reach him at 250-537-8813 or

Article Link here:

Elizabeth May calls for Lyme disease strategy
Green Party leader says Lyme disease is no longer rare
CBC News Posted: Jul 9, 2012 8:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 9, 2012 10:46 AM ET

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to come up with a national strategy to deal with Lyme disease. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to develop a national strategy to combat Lyme disease that includes ways to improve prevention and diagnosis of the disease.

The British Columbia MP’s comments come on the heels of several people speaking out about the presence of Lyme disease in the Fredericton area.

May introduced a private member’s bill in June that calls on federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to hold a conference to draft a national plan for dealing with Lyme disease.

May said the disease is becoming more common in Canada and the federal government needs to craft a cohesive strategy to address it.

“The scope of the problem is number one, that more people are getting Lyme disease than the medical community has expected,” May said.

“A lot of doctors still operate under the assumption that this disease is very, very rare — that’s no longer the case. And we also have the problem that it’s hard to diagnose.”

May said the national strategy would help various health districts across the country share their experiences on dealing with the disease.

“We’re looking at putting together a strategy to deal with the need for better awareness, for prevention, the need for better tools for diagnosis and of course, the need for better tools for treatment,” she said.

The state of Maine recently issued warnings for residents there to take precautions because of an increase in ticks carrying Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is caused by the bite of two species of ticks: blacklegged ticks, which are also called deer ticks, and western blacklegged ticks.

The first sign a person who has contracted Lyme disease may have is a circular rash surrounding the spot where the bite happened.

The rash normally appears between three and 30 days after the bite. The rash may be followed by symptoms like fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.

If left untreated, the disease can progress to a second phase, which can last several months. Symptoms in the second phase include migraines, weakness, multiple skin rashes, painful or stiff joints, abnormal heartbeat and extreme fatigue.


Another Fredericton-area resident has come forward to talk about Lyme disease being in the area.

Brian McEwing told CBC News he was bitten by an infected tick last fall at the University of New Brunswick’s woodlot.

McEwing said he was wearing a wool sweater and a fleece jacket while geocaching, but a tick still managed to burrow into his arm.

He removed the tick and it tested positive for Lyme disease.

“I did have some anxiety for a while, but I knew I’d caught it early,” said McEwing, whose doctor gave him antibiotics.

“I was comfortable with the treatment I received and, like I say, so far, everything’s fine.”

McEwing said there have been at least four cases among members of the congregation at his church.

Public health officials say they have been no confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the Fredericton area in the past five years.

A Fredericton-area woman said in an interview on Friday that it’s time for the New Brunswick government to take Lyme disease more seriously.

Lorraine Bird, a resident of Charters Settlement, said she spent six years trying to get a proper diagnosis of why she was suffering numbness in her face and constant fatigue.

She said doctors kept telling her she was sick but they didn’t know how to treat her.

“So it’s very complex and it mimics a lot of other diseases and it’s very frustrating for people,” she said.

“We need to have that reviewed. That’s the bottom line. If our testing was more intricate or different, it would certainly help more people.”

Bird eventually had her blood sent to California for testing and a doctor in Maine began treating her with antibiotics.

Article link here:

Page 1 of 3
November 28th, 2012
Dear Nova Scotia MLA/MP:
RE: Lyme Disease in Nova Scotia
Lyme Disease (LD) is an emerging disease in Nova Scotia and Canada that is generating considerable attention from the media, advocacy groups and communities. Given this situation, I felt it important that you had accurate and up-to-date information on LD in Nova Scotia and the provincial response plan.
LD is a bacterial illness that can be transmitted to humans through the bite of a blacklegged tick (deer tick). There are a number of tick species in Nova Scotia, but only the blacklegged tick can carry the bacteria that can cause LD. Not all blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria and the risk of acquiring LD remains low in the province. LD is readily treatable with appropriate antibiotics.
The Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) has an active LD response plan which includes an interdisciplinary committee (public health, veterinary medicine, wildlife biology) that provides evidence-based advice and guidance to the provincial government on the control of LD. Nova Scotia has multiple infectious disease and medical microbiologist experts in the province who deal with treatment and diagnosis of LD. DHW has a close working relationship with these clinical experts through an Infectious Disease Expert Group, which meets regularly to advise DHW on public health and infection control issues. We also work closely with our partners at the Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Microbiology Laboratory who provide evidence based recommendations for the prevention and surveillance of LD and ticks.
Tick and Lyme Disease Surveillance
Lyme disease is a notifiable disease under the National Microbiology Laboratory. Health care professionals are required to report cases of Lyme disease to Public Health when they diagnose clients clinically or with laboratory confirmation. In 2011, there were 54 confirmed cases of LD reported to Public Health, corresponding to an incidence rate of 5.8 cases per 100,000 population. Surveillance of both human cases and blacklegged ticks in the province enables DHW to keep abreast of the current state of Lyme disease in Nova Scotia.
Over the past few years, DHW together with the Department of Natural Resources and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been identifying and testing ticks collected in Nova Scotia. Analysis of this data has identified six areas where blacklegged ticks carrying the bacteria that can cause LD are known to be endemic (i.e. have become established as part of the local ecology). These endemic locations are areas in Yarmouth County, Shelburne County, Lunenburg County, Halifax County, Pictou County and most recently Queens County. These known endemic areas can be found on the Department of Health and Wellness website at
DHW has had a tick surveillance program in place since 2002, which included both passive (ticks being submitted by the public) and active plans. In the fall of 2011, DHW restructured its tick surveillance program to place an emphasis on active surveillance. Active surveillance involves ‘in the field’ work including small mammal testing and dragging vegetation to collect
Page 2 of 3
ticks. We will continue with focused active surveillance to determine additional areas where ticks may be establishing.
It is expected the number of LD cases will increase over time as ticks become more densely populated and expand their geographical range when conditions permit. Climate change related to global warming is expected to contribute to the increase of LD in Nova Scotia and Canada.
Public Information
DHW regularly provides consistent, evidence based information about LD and its prevention to the public. Strategies are implemented each year to provide Nova Scotians with information about the prevention of tick bites and to ensure health care providers have the most up to date clinical information. The DHW website is regularly updated plus we work closely with partners to disseminate information regarding LD to the public and stakeholders via various methods (letters via schools, residential letters, media releases, websites, signs in parks/campgrounds). DHW has also provided an advertorial for newspapers as well as news release each year. DHW regularly responds to multiple media requests and letters to government regarding LD.
Nova Scotians and visitors to the province can help prevent exposure to blacklegged ticks and LD by taking some simple precautions. This is especially important when in areas where there may be increased risk. Prevention messages can be found on the DHW website at:
Information to Clinicians
Webinars have been provided to health care providers in the last few years, addressing prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of LD. In addition, the DHW provides updates to physicians in the province via Doctors Nova Scotia. The Infectious Disease Expert Group has developed a document entitled “Statement for Managing Lyme Disease in Nova Scotia” which has been widely circulated to physicians in the province. This document is based on current evidence and follows the guidelines endorsed by the Infectious Disease Society of America.
Laboratory testing for LD in Nova Scotia follows the guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. These guidelines have been endorsed by the Canadian Public Health Laboratories Network and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
We are aware of the Canadian Lyme disease advocacy group, Can Lyme, who claim that the testing and treatment of LD is inadequate. However, the testing methods they promote, and the ones used by many private labs in the US, are not endorsed by infectious disease and laboratory experts.
DHW supports and partners with many researchers in the field of LD and tick surveillance. Research that DHW is aware of and supports includes the Public Health Agency of Canada’s study on identification of emerging endemic areas for the blacklegged tick and prediction of the further spread of LD. Two other research initiatives that DHW supports include the human seroprevalence study on LD and the Deer Treatment Study. We are aware that other
Page 3 of 3
researchers initiate studies within the province with or without consultation or consideration of experts on the interdisciplinary committee.
If you have additional questions regarding LD, or if you would like to involve a regional Medical Officer of Health in any meetings with community or advocacy groups, please contact your local Public Health office which can be found through the following website:
We appreciate your ongoing support and cooperation to help ensure Nova Scotians receive evidence-based information on LD.
Robert Strang MD, MHSc., FRCPC
Chief Medical Officer of Health
c. Dr. Frank Atherton – Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health and Wellness
Elaine Holmes, Director – Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, Health and Wellness
Regional Medical Officers of Health

Misinformation sent to all Nova Scotia MLA’s and MP’s by Chief Medical Officer of Nova Scotia, Robert Strang.
Here you can read the letter from Dr. Strang, followed below by a copy of our reply that was also sent to all Nova Scotia politicians.
Dr. Strang acted in a manner that is contrary to the principles of open science in that he deliberately did not mention the reams of “peer reviewed”, “evidence based” research papers that prove the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) guidelines are full of misinformation, “Laboratory testing for LD in Nova Scotia follows the guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. These guidelines have been endorsed by the Canadian Public Health Laboratories Network and the Infectious Diseases Society of America”. Endorsement by these lobby groups is not something to brag about.
He failed to acknowledge that Health Canada had published a letter in Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter, Volume 22 – Issue 4 – October 2012 showing that the Infectious Disease Society of America societies and their Canadian puppet groups got it wrong, testing produces too many false negative results, the most harmful to the patient just as the Lyme disease advocates and scientists around the world have said for almost 20 years. These Canadian puppets adopted a testing protocol knowing that the United states Center for Disease Control clearly stated it was and is only for surveillance, not accurate enough for human diagnostics, another fact his beloved IDSA simply ignored.
What does this say for the thousands of Canadians who had the puppet endorsed testing over the past 20 years, only to be given false negative results many orders of magnitude more than the few positive tests? How many are permanently disabled now? How many are deceased? How many lost their homes, their families through divorce? What does this say about the cost to taxpayers who support these thousands of people and continue to pay for revolving door medical visits and expensive tests (chronic patients are the largest user gorup of the medical system). No one knows, or do they? The Medical disability insurers save a fortune by accepting only the IDSA guidelines using them to deny patients across Canada. This has been shown in United states Congressional hearings.
One must wonder why Dr. Strang went to such great lengths to misinform every politician in the Province of Nova Scotia. There is little expertise and professionalism in his alleged experts. Clearly his agenda is to enforce dognmatic, behind closed door decisions while refusing to allow victims and their experts into the policy making process. CanLyme has experts in many related fields of expertise on four continents who don’t buy what Dr. Strang is selling.
Some Canadian “evidence based”, “peer reviewed” research papers that have been ignored are;
Widespread dispersal of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks collected from songbirds across Canada.
Evolving Perspectives on Lyme Borreliosis in Canada
Lyme borreliosis in Canada: biological diversity and diagnostic complexity from an entomological perspective
Detection of Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, including three novel genotypes in ticks …

This is unacceptable behaviour of a non-elected bureaucrat.
This quote is only one problem area with his letter, He stated,

December 11, 2012
Dear Nova Scotia MLA/MP:
RE: Lyme Disease in Nova Scotia
A concerned citizen has brought to the attention of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation some serious misinformation being distributed by the Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health. Dr. Robert Strang sent his letter to all MLAs and MPs in Nova Scotia, and this letter is dated November 28, 2012.
I am a board member of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation and would like to respond to this letter. Specifically, Dr. Strang stated that: “We are aware of the Canadian Lyme disease advocacy group, CanLyme, who claim that the testing and treatment of LD is inadequate. However, the testing methods they promote, and the ones used by many private labs in the US, are not endorsed by infectious disease and laboratory experts.“
The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) has never promoted specific lab testing methods with the exception of PCR testing of human biopsy and autopsy samples. CanLyme has always maintained that Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis that may be supported by serology but is not reliant on serological support by the current two-tier testing protocol used in Nova Scotia.
Lyme disease remains a clinical diagnosis since available evidence is too conflicted to codify the diagnosis and treatment of this complex disease. After nearly a decade of hard work by dedicated CanLyme volunteers who provide broader and international perspectives on this disease, Health Canada, in the Adverse Reaction Newsletter 22(4) October 2012 ( admitted that there are serious limitations in the current serological testing algorithm and that both false negative and false positive results mean that Lyme disease remains a clinical diagnosis. Nowhere does Dr. Strang reference this important addition to the debate.
It is also important to note that in February of this year, Dr. Alan Ronald, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Manitoba was forced to publish a retraction in the Winnipeg Free Press where he made unfounded statements about false positives from healthy people issued by a California lab known for issuing positive Lyme results (
However, we are pleased that Dr. Strang has acknowledged that Lyme disease has received a considerable amount of attention from the media. The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation continues to work in the public sphere and encourages you to maintain awareness of Lyme disease and the responsibility of public health officials to consider the full spectrum of evidence, unhindered by historical biases.
In addition, we emphasize that the current best evidence firmly demonstrates that the genetic diversity and ecological complexity of the causative agent of Lyme disease confounds the diagnostic situation in Canada. This evidence is reviewed in the following peer-reviewed publications, available as open access at:
Sperling and Sperling 2009. The Canadian Entomologist
Sperling et al. 2012. Open Neurology Journal.
Transparent and respectful discussions between CanLyme representatives and the Chief Medical Officer of Novas Scotia would be a positive step in a debate that has been hostile towards minority opinions, even when those opinions are based on substantial numbers of peer-reviewed research papers.
Lyme disease research is progressing rapidly and doctors should be alerted to the fact that current serological tests are inadequate. Meanwhile, I appreciate your attention as we set the record straight about the role of CanLyme, and I would be pleased to provide further information or discussion if you would like to follow up.
Janet Sperling
Board Member, Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

All credit for this Article goes to Canlyme:

Protester Janet Conners in Ottawa accuses the government and Canadian blood supply managers of silence and coverups during the tainted blood scandal of the 1970s and '80s. The woman's husband died from AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion. (Andrew Wallace/Canadian Press)

Canada’s blood supply
10 years after Krever, is it safe?
Last Updated April 27, 2007
CBC News

Blood is probably the most precious liquid on Earth. It nourishes and restores life and is shared widely within communities, countries and around the world.

Bad or tainted blood is a human disaster on a similarly vast scale, as scandals in Canada, France, Australia and Britain have shown. A decade ago, this country finally began to come to terms with the criminal tragedy of blood infected with HIV and hepatitis C, and the thousands upon thousands of innocent Canadians who contracted the diseases through blood transfusions.

In November 1997, a royal commission headed by Justice Horace Krever of the Ontario Court of Appeal roundly vilified governments and blood collection agencies for their roles in that dark episode. Criminal charges were laid and the country belatedly took extensive steps to protect the blood supply.

Independent public agencies were set up to collect and protect blood donations in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Extensive testing was introduced at every stage of the process. Politicians and victims of the scandal squared off across a minefield of compensation and liability issues, and slowly but surely the crucial central issue of ensuring a safe blood supply began.

So where do we stand now? Is Canada’s blood supply safe? Is it being adequately protected from existing threats and those that might come along in future? And will we have enough blood to serve an aging population when demographics show that most blood donors are themselves aging, with younger people yet to pick up the demographic slack?

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2500x VFRC vs. HR-dark field (HD 1080/50p) video microscopy of Borrelia sp

Published on Dec 4, 2012

Borrelia spirochete species can hardly be visualized in vital blood due to fast movement and halo effects of conventional dark field illumination. Here we show an improved VFRC (0:00-03:40) and HR (high time and image resolution) dark field (DF) illumination (04:00) using a special condensor with high intensity white LED and a VFRC 110x objective as well as 25-40x zoom lens focussed on a high resolution high sensitivity aps-c cmos chip. Large immune complexes of antibody-precipitated spirochetes, cyst forms of spirochetes, intracellular spirochetes and single vital fast moving spirochetes compromised by antibodies can well be seen in HR-DF, less in VFRC of the freshly isolated capillary blood. The patient is permanently treated by bioresonance, light therapy and herbal remedy therapy specific for neuroborreliosis, according to a novel protocol. Weekly DNA-PCR-tests are performed to screen the blood concentration of borrelia bacteria. The patient is suffering from skin release of spirochete cysts (histiocytomes and leucocytomes) as well as alzheimer-like psycho-neurological disorders. VFRC microscopy and HR-DF are a novel technique invented by Armin Koroknay, Switzerland

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Help bring Lyme research to new levels.

With today’s technology and knowledge we are lightyears ahead of just one decade ago. It is time for aggressive human tissue/fluid study, both live subject and post mortem.

No longer should we simply throw away tissues in any surgery people with and many other conditions. We want to thoroughly explore just how prevalent borreliosis is in the human population and we can do it now.
Register (very easy) and vote each day now until Dec. 12 to get us to the finals!!

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Well over 1 million Canadians suffer from chronic illnesses such as myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities and Lyme disease. Currently these diseases do not get the required attention by our health care system. Moreover, research in these fields lacks greatly.

A new Complex Chronic Diseases Clinic will open in 2013 in Vancouver to address these diseases, research them and provide the support that its sufferers deserve.

Through this project, we want to help fund medical equipment needed in order to properly diagnose these patients, and acquire essential equipment in order to conduct proper research.

Here is the equipment that is currently most needed, identified by the administrators of this clinic:

Ongoing research in the future
-minus 80 degree Celsius upright freezer to store future patient samples for ongoing research in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia
-refrigerated centrifuge to spin down the samples
-software system to track the patient samples and a label producing machine to track the samples in the freezer.

 No one is immune to these diseases in Canada. They happen to men, women and children. Moreover, many of the current patients are disabled, housebound and bedridden. This clinic in Vancouver represent hope for a better future.

“Lyme disease is clearly a very complex disease. When considering a similar spirochete disease, syphilis, it has been said, “To know syphilis is to know medicine.” However, to know Lyme disease is not only to know medicine but also neurology, psychiatry, politics, economics, and law. The complexity of this disease and all that surrounds it challenges our scientific as well as our ethical capabilities”.
(Robert Bransfield, M.D.)

All credit for this picture goes to ""