Tally up on tick disease
Canadian public health officials have been warning about the rise in the number of ticks in Canada and the increased risk of Lyme disease.
Alberta Health Services says three cases have been confirmed in Alberta so far this year but none of the patients was infected here.
Diagnosis of the disease has been controversial and some patients believe they have the disease even though their doctors have not confirmed their diagnosis.
Teri McCallum started feeling very ill a few years ago but she had trouble getting a diagnosis and Canadian tests for Lyme disease were negative.
“I couldn't concentrate, I had brain fog, memory loss, vision loss,” said Teri.
Eventually McCallum went to a private clinic in the U.S. for help.
A lab in California that uses different tests and criteria, concluded that McCallum did have Lyme disease.
She has spent thousand of dollars for the diagnosis and treatment and says it was worth it.
“I’m better I have my life back, I’m 95 percent of my life back,” said Teri.
George Chaconas is a PhD at the University of Calgary who is studying Lyme disease.
“We're trying to understand how this bacterium works. How does it function. Because if we understand that better then we can have a much better handle on methods for control, for diagnosis, for treatment,” said Chaconas.
Alberta Health Services insists that there has never been a case of Lyme disease acquired in this province.
Chaconas says there is no stable tick population in Alberta that carries the bacteria but says migrating birds can drop infected ticks.
The issue is getting some national attention after a private member’s bill was introduced by the Green Party calling for a national plan to deal with the disease.