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The federal government to spend $4 million on Lyme disease research

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When you read about Lyme disease on the CanLyme website, it quickly becomes obvious how little we really know about the illness.

It’s a disease many Canadians, including doctors, are still unfamiliar with. Additionally, only a couple of blood tests effectively detect the disease, leaving lots of room for a misdiagnosis. If Lyme disease is caught early enough a couple rounds of antibiotics can clear it away, but due to the unpredictable nature of the disease, early detection doesn’t always help.

It is because of this widespread lack of information that the federal government is spending $4 million to aid in the research of Lyme disease.

Health Minister Jane Philpott spoke about the plan to create a large-scale Lyme disease research network, which will include a national surveillance program that will help to track incidents and costs, the creation of standardized informational materials to distribute across Canada, and a framework that will form guidelines for the prevention, identification, and management of the disease.

“This is an emerging disease and we don’t have all of the answers,” interim Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam wrote in the framework. “As we move forward collectively, it is critical that we come together with an evidence-based approach, and address knowledge gaps through further research.”

The document goes on to demonstrate the rising statistics of reported cases, outlines the areas of contraction, and gives details into the goals of the three part framework.

With all the mystery surrounding ticks and Lyme disease, hopefully we are one step toward finding some answers.