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Event Details

Disease event report

Category: Disease
Observation: 09.06.2009
Continent: North-America
Country: Canada
State:
Area: Statewide
Location:
Severity: Hight
Event details
Lyme disease is spreading in Canada and is expected to get worse with climate change, according to Canadian researchers. But Dr. Nicholas Ogden, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, and one of the co-authors of a recent study on the matter, says that increased surveillance and clinical awareness could play a key role in minimizing the impact of the disease. The study appears in the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks to humans. It begins with a skin lesion that expands. If left untreated, it can result in facial palsy, meningitis, heart problems, nerve damage and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Current surveillance for ticks is described as "passive" by Ogden, even though it has identified new endemic areas in Canada. But he said more methods are needed to identify emerging areas of Lyme disease. Emerging areas for ticks include Ontario, Nova Scotia, southeastern Manitoba, New Brunswick and southern Quebec. Tick populations are widespread in southern British Columbia, but the instance of the agent that causes Lyme disease is lower than in the ticks spreading in the eastern part of the country, Ogden said. He added that more surveillance is needed there to inform doctors and the public about the risk and treatment options for people who contract Lyme disease.
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