Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the editor...Better treatment for Lyme disease is needed
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 12 Jul 2006, p. 6

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(This letter was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Halton Region Health Department. A copy was made available for publication.) Dear sirs, I have just been through the horrors of our medical system and I am not very happy. Last July I was walking my parents' dog in rural Acton and I received a tick bite that was infected with Lyme disease. I have been to several doctors and dermatologists and none have acknowledged that my symptoms could be a result of Lyme disease. Even after a diagnosis, six months later, from one of Canada's only infectious disease doctors who can properly test and treat this disease, my other physicians still will not believe the actual facts. I was diagnosed relatively "early" by today's standards for Lyme diagnosis, and I have been on three months of antibiotic treatment and I still show symptoms. I have another two months of treatment to go-- even then it's unclear if that will be enough. Many people go years undiagnosed. We are constantly being told that Lyme disease is not a factor in Halton Hills and surrounding areas. Why are there no warnings made available to the public? Why is it up to the sick people to diagnose themselves, and to make the proper decision on who can help them? If people can be infected with malaria and West Nile virus from an insect bite, then how can Lyme be ignored? Our health care is appalling and something has to get done before this situation gets out of hand. We need to educate our doctors so they are not pretending tick-borne antigens are not around. They also need to be given the green light to send these people, without the fear of being punished by our system, to a doctor who knows more about tickborne diseases. We also need better testing methods made available and more doctors who can test and treat these diseases. Lyme disease when left undiagnosed for months or years is not only hard to treat, it can be fatal! It is not hard to treat if it is caught early--four weeks of antibiotic therapy on a new bite and maybe a lifetime on a chronic bite-- which is cheaper? Which is better for the patient who is suffering? Please tell me why we are treating Lyme disease this way? More education for our doctors and the public-- that is what is needed. How much could this cost? Mandie Patterson, Burlington

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12 Jul 2006
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Patterson, Mandie
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Letters to the editor...Better treatment for Lyme disease is needed