Canada Lyme disease health concern

Cases of infection transmitted by ticks are on the rise according to Public Health Agency

Canada Lyme disease health concern
There is a serious health concern in Canada about the rise of Lyme disease in the country.

According to statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada, reported on by CBC, there were more than 700 cases of Lyme disease in the country during 2015 – compared to just 140 in 2009.

Speaking to the news outlet, Dr Gregory Taylor, the chief public health officer, commented that the “numbers are much higher and it’s alarming that the numbers are increasing continuously.”

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Generally, in Canada, it is transmitted by two ticks that suck on the blood of both humans and animals. They are small and look like a flat watermelon seed.

Concerns are growing because the likelihood is that the number of cases is much higher than that reported as mild cases generally clear on their own. Indeed, when detected early a short course of antibiotics can generally resolve the issue in the majority of people – however, when left untreated it can prompt heart problems, inflammation of both the brain and spinal cord, facial palsy and meningitis.

As such, warnings have been reiterated for people to take extra care when entering tick areas. If you can’t avoid entering these regions then stick to designated trails, wear light coloured clothing that makes the ticks easier to spot, ensure your shoes are toe-closed, tuck pant legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up your legs, tuck in your shirt, use insect repellants and make sure someone scans you for ticks on a regular basis.