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EDMONTON JOURNAL JULY 17, 2012 Re: “Lyme-carrying ticks here, researcher says,” the Journal, July 11.

The presence of the blacklegged tick in Alberta is not a new revelation.

Many years ago, our research team documented the first record of this tick species on a Swainson’s Thrush in Alberta, collected on May 19, 1998. In fact, we have reported blacklegged ticks collected from birds in Alberta in two peer-reviewed scientific journals, in 2001 and 2005 respectively.

In the Journal article on his research, Daniel Fitzgerald at the University of Alberta said it was possible that climate change is a factor for blacklegged ticks in Alberta. But there is no mention that migratory songbirds play an integral role in wide dispersal of bird-feeding ticks.

Weather data for Edmonton listing the mean daily temperatures during the past 50 years show climate change has nil or no effect on blacklegged tick survival in Alberta.

The provincial government and the medical profession have been oblivious to what is happening in nature while songbirds introduce Lyme disease vector ticks into Alberta each year.

John D. Scott, research scientist, Lyme Disease Association of Ontario, Fergus, Ont.

You Surely Can Die Of Lyme Disease
Published: July 19, 1995
To the Editor:
Your report on the outbreak of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in the Northeast (“A New Lethal Illness Carried by Ticks Is Identified,” July 12) contains the astonishing assertion about Lyme disease by Federal officials that they have been unable to “document a single death out of tens of thousands of cases of Lyme.” They aren’t looking very hard; fatalities unequivocally attributed to Lyme disease appear in the peer-reviewed medical literature.
A 1988 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a case in which a previously healthy Pennsylvania woman died of adult respiratory distress syndrome secondary to Lyme disease only months after having been infected with the Lyme spirochete. On autopsy, spirochetes were visualized in her lymphatic tissue. At the end of the report, the authors urged physicians “to consider the multisystemic features of Lyme disease and to recognize its lethal potential.”
A Lyme disease death due to heart failure was described in a 1985 case report published in The Annals of Internal Medicine. Spirochetes were present in the patient’s myocardium on autopsy.

*** On a footnote…Google- Obituary/Lyme disease/any Country, State, Province ***