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Lyme disease needs same action from province that flawed scans got

David Cubberley, Times Colonist

Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Now scroll over to Lyme disease for a stark contrast. In 2007, a B.C. Centre for Disease Control survey revealed that more than six in 10 doctors don’t know that a patient with a bullseye rash is deemed to have Lyme and should be given antibiotics immediately.

Because of this knowledge gap, an unknown, but possibly large number of patients would have been coming to doctors’ offices with a bulls-eye rash -meaning they have Lyme disease -only to be refused diagnosis.

Or, to be told they have to pass a two-step test, which only four to six people do in all B.C. in a typical year. And if they did test negative, rash notwithstanding, they’d be refused treatment for Lyme forever -no matter how sick they become.

Without treatment, Lyme bacteria rapidly invade internal organs like the brain and heart and make people deathly ill.

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And what are we doing to mark Lyme disease awareness month, you may ask? Well we are launching a book! We are now accepting orders for our new book, Ending Denial – The Lyme Disease Epidemic: A Canadian Public Health Disaster (front cover pictured at left; click for larger image).

Canadians are routinely told by their doctors that Lyme does not exist in Canada and that there is no such thing as its chronic form – its most devastating form, also known as “the great imitator”. The few Canadian doctors actively involved in diagnosing and treating Lyme are frequently persecuted by their licensing authorities when treating Chronic Lyme cases according to international standards; the Canadian Blood Services do not even screen for Lyme (as most other countries do, including the US), and Canada’s Medicare system endorses only tests for Lyme known to produce false negatives — Canada’s doctors are not permitted to use tests that are internationally known to be reliable. This book examines the reasons for this corruption of medicine and erosion of public health standards in Canada.

“If you or someone you love may be suffering from Lyme disease, this book is for you. If you want to know what’s wrong with our health care system, this book is for you. If you have wondered why every conversation about our health care system in Canada and the US ends up being about money, this book is for you. Read it and bear witness to the courage of those who challenge the status quo and truly put patients first. Read it to help protect yourself from the vested interests that have kept doctors and patients in the dark about the true nature of Lyme disease. Read it to understand how blindly doing what the doctor says may be the most dangerous thing you could do for your own health.”

– Terence Young, MP Oakville, Ontario
(author of Death by Prescription