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Lyme disease: beware of ticks this summer

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Transmitted to humans by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia bacteria, Lyme disease does not seem to spare any region of Quebec. Estrie is more affected, the regions of Outaouais and Montérégie also, but ticks are spreading more and more. And with climate change, Dr. Amir Khadir, microbiologist and infectiologist at the CHUM, expects the disease to migrate further north. because the little field mice, the white-footed mice, the deer which [sont porteurs] of these ticks all migrate to a more temperate climate.

If ticks are often found in the forest, they can just as well be spotted in urbanized environments where the grass is longer, and not only during the hottest periods, indicates Carl Dubois, vice-president of the Quebec Association. of Lyme disease. As soon as the mercury approaches zero degrees, ticks are present in our forests, in our gardens, so we must remain vigilant from the end of winter until Decemberhe explains.

Poorly equipped medical staff

For Catherine Breton, who has had Lyme disease since 2004, receiving her diagnosis was a real obstacle course that lasted almost 15 years.

Catherine Breton contracted Lyme disease in 2004.

Photo: TurnedNews.com

Continual fatigue, muscle weakness, migraine… Despite these symptoms related to Lyme disease, Ms. Breton was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on more than one occasion, but this prognosis did not correspond to all her problems.

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It was finally after hearing about the disease for the first time in the media that Ms. Breton understood that she had it. I realized, oh my God, all my health problems stem from that moment. There’s a good chance that’s it she exclaims.

If Catherine Breton is now followed by Dr. Khadir, it was from a doctor in the northeastern United States, the epicenter of the disease, that she received the correct diagnosis in 2018.

For the Montreal microbiologist and infectiologist, it is the lack of resources allocated to research on this disease which can partly explain the results. false negativeswhich some patients like Catherine Breton have received.30years when I was on the school bench, they are not very good.”,”text”:”Our diagnostic tools are still those of 30 years ago when I was on the school bench , they are not very good.”}}’>Our diagnostic tools are still those of 30 years ago when I was on school benches. They are not very good.explains Dr. Khadir.

Prevent infection

According to Mr. Dubois, of the Quebec Lyme Disease Association, it is mistakenly thought that these mites prefer to bite the legs or lower body: Ticks love places you wouldn’t suspect, such as behind the ears, in the groin, behind the knees, elbows, below the armpits… It is therefore desirable to examine yourself well after a hike, he says.

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In case of infection

The vast majority of patients eventually heal on their own, says the doctor, but it is recommended to act as quickly as possible following a bite. You have to remove the tick and go to the pharmacy. Pharmacists are now authorized to prescribe the first dose of medication to be administered within 48 to 72 hours after a bite. If it’s too late, doctors can prescribe a two-week course of treatment that can cure Most peopleaccording to Dr. Khadir.

Dr. Amir Khadir, microbiologist, infectious disease specialist and one of the few doctors in Quebec to follow patients with Lyme disease.

Photo: TurnedNews.com

Some people like Catherine Breton are less fortunate, and live long term with symptoms of the disease. This is why last month, Quebec announced that clinics specializing in long-term COVID and Lyme disease will be set up in several regions.

However, no implementation date has been announced.

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