FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Simcoe, ON – Today, the Honourable Diane Finley, MP for Haldimand-Norfolk, hosted two town halls to discuss Lyme Disease. Diane was accompanied by Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, Sue Faber and Jennifer Kravis from LymeHope, and Public Health representatives from Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.
Lyme and related diseases are infectious diseases that are spread when ticks feed off an infected wild animal, such as birds and rodents. Humans can contract the diseases when they are bitten by an infected tick, often found in forested areas, shrubs, and tall grass along Southern Ontario. In Haldimand-Norfolk, Health Canada has identified Long Point and Turkey Point as areas that are high risk for contracting Lyme Disease, though cases have been identified recently in other parts of the region.
If a person is bitten, they can show symptoms as early as three days to as late as months or possibly years after the initial bite. The early symptoms of Lyme disease often resemble that of the flu and the person may develop a circular or oval rash sometimes in a ‘bullseye’ shape. If caught early, one can be treated with antibiotics and be expected to make a recovery. However, too often Lyme and other co-infections are not being diagnosed and treated early enough, leading to years of deteriorating health, requiring much longer treatments.
Some of the best ways to protect yourself from contracting Lyme disease & co-infections are to wear light clothing so you that can see ticks easier, tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks, and spray yourself with DEET or Icaridin on your clothes. For more information on ways to protect yourself this summer, visit Health Canada’s website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/lyme-disease.html.
“The growing threats of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are issues we all need to note. I hope that these town halls will help educate the public and provide us, as elected representatives, with valuable feedback to help us build solid public health policies.”
The Honourable Diane Finley, P.C., M.P. for Haldimand-Norfolk
“Emerging vector-borne diseases, like Lyme, have proven many approaches to be ill-prepared. An accelerated team effort of all levels of government and other institutions is crucial.”
Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk
“According to a 2017 Canadian benchmark survey, 4 million Canadians identified that they or someone they know, in Canada, has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. There are also case reports showing that Lyme disease may be passed from pregnant mother to unborn child in utero. This is a very serious and rapidly spreading epidemic affecting millions of Canadians.”
Office of the Hon. Diane Finley