Federal government spends $4M to fight Lyme disease

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The federal government is spending $4 million to aid research into Lyme disease.

Health Minister Jane Philpott will unveil this morning the government’s plan to establish a Lyme disease research network designed to improve diagnosis and treatment.

She is holding a news conference at 10:15 a.m. ET, and CBCNews.ca will carry it live.

The government also released a framework for fighting the disease, focused on three areas:

  • Surveillance.
  • Guidelines and best practices.
  • Public education and awareness.

The infectious disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, and transmitted through the bite of select types of infected ticks.

Lyme Disease

This is the two-year life cycle of ticks. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In a statement, Theresa Tam, the interim chief public health officer, said Canada is at an “important juncture” for tackling Lyme disease.

“As we move forward collectively, it is critical that we come together with an evidence-based approach, and to address knowledge gaps through further research,” she said. “The Public Health Agency of Canada will work with public health, health care, patient groups, and other interested parties as we move forward together on the three pillars of the framework.”

Lyme disease in humans was designated as a nationally notifiable disease in 2009 — identified as a priority for monitoring and control efforts by the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Tick bite

Health authories have found an increase in cases of Lyme disease and blacklegged ticks. A tick bite can leave a bull’s-eye-shaped rash on the skin. (CBC)

Originally posted here:

Federal government spends $4M to fight Lyme disease

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