Connect with us

Health

It’s peak season for another infectious disease waiting for Canadians in parks and campgrounds

Published

on

 


Lisa Ali Learning, seen here at Queensland Beach Provincial Park, N.S., with her sons Darien, left, and Lucas, runs a small business selling tick kits following her two sons’ serious cases of Lyme disease, May 23, 2020.

Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

As Canadians rush outdoors after weeks in lockdown, researchers and public-health officials warn of a less novel, but ever-increasing infectious villain waiting for them in the woods: the black-legged ticks.

The timing could not be worse: peak season for the tiny bug, which carries the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, is happening just as governments across the country lift restrictions on parks and camping areas.

A collection of new cases presented in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday details the rare but deadly health consequences of Lyme disease, especially when it is not detected early.

Story continues below advertisement

The cases include the death of a healthy, 37-year-old Manitoba man two summers ago after he was diagnosed with Lyme carditis, a condition that occurs when the bacteria that causes Lyme interferes with the heart’s electrical signals. It causes dizziness, fainting and a slowing heartbeat, and can eventually lead to what scientist call a heart block. The man had been bitten by a tick weeks earlier, but the diagnosis came too late: by the time he was admitted to hospital and given intravenous antibiotics, the damage to his heart was too severe. He died 48 hours later.

The doctors involved with the cases say that they are trying to raise awareness both of the need for prevention by the public and vigilance for physicians, especially those in rural emergency departments.

“We are not trying to scare people, but we want to highlight the disease,” said Richard Rusk, a primary physician and public-health officer who co-authored the paper about the Manitoba case.

Dr. Rusk worries that a country already exhausted by messaging about physical distancing and hand-washing may not heed this instruction: when walking through long grass, forests and off-trail, wear repellent, long sleeves and tuck your socks into pants.

If you spend time in nature where the presence of ticks is high – which includes the entire province of Nova Scotia, swathes of Manitoba, much of Vancouver Island, as well as areas in and around cities such as Ottawa and Toronto – conduct a tick check each night. Unlike mosquitoes, ticks often don’t sting when they latch on to a host. They can be as small as a grain of sand, so easily overlooked.

A wooded area near the Aspotogen Trail on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, where ticks have now become endemic, is seen on May 23, 2020.

Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

Cases of Lyme disease have grown exponentially in Canada over the past decade. According to national surveillance statistics, the number of cases was 2,025 in 2017, compared with 144 in 2009. Scientists believe a major factor in their advance north is climate change.

The chances of being infected with Lyme disease from a tick bite are about 3 per cent to 5 per cent according to research. But the percentage of Lyme disease cases that develop into heart problems may be up to 10 per cent, said Adrian Baranchuk, a cardiologist and researcher in Kingston, Ont. “If it goes undiagnosed, the possibility of having serious complications is not that small,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

In another case reported in CMAJ, Dr. Baranchuk treated a 56-year-old female patient in Kingston who was diagnosed with Lyme carditis after being bitten by a tick while jogging. She recovered after a dose of intravenous antibiotics. In the past, many of these cases have resulted in younger patients being given pacemakers, but Dr. Baranchuk says there is now enough good evidence – led by research done in Kingston – to support the less invasive, less costly approach of a round of antibiotics and careful monitoring.

This depends, however, on doctors identifying cases quickly, which can be complicated because people may not remember being bitten, and the symptoms of Lyme often resemble those of other illnesses. What’s more, only about half of the people bitten by a tick get the classic bulls-eye rash, Dr. Baranchuk said. In the case of his female patient, her rash appeared as a reddish blotch and was first treated as cellulitus, a common skin infection. She was only properly diagnosed when she returned to emergency 15 days later with palpitations and light-headedness.

A tick, whose bite can transmit Lyme disease, is shown here in 2016 at the French National Institute of Agricultural Research in Maison-Alfort, France.

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

The cases described in the CMAJ further highlight how easily Lyme Disease may be overlooked. In the family account of the case involving the Manitoba man, Samuel, his sister writes that at a family swimming gathering she noticed circular rashes on his chest and back, but Samuel did not recall being bitten by a tick. A visit to the doctors returned a diagnosis of a bad flu. He seemed better at the next family gathering for his 37th birthday. But about a week later, he messaged his family that he was being kept over night at hospital for “minor heart symptoms.” The next day, she says, they rushed to the hospital to find him on life support.

A third case reported in the CMAJ involved a four-year-old Ontario boy brought to hospital with symptoms of fever, vomiting, as well as a condition called ataxia, which affects muscle co-ordination and speech. A picture provided by his parents showed a tick-like rash four months earlier, and led doctors to diagnose Lyme Disease and successfully treat the boy with antibiotics.

To improve the chances of catching serious problems in time, the CMAJ paper recommends that patients suspected or confirmed to have Lyme Disease be checked for heart symptoms, and, if discharged, told to seek immediate care if symptoms develop.

But ultimately, the experts say, the best treatment is prevention.

Story continues below advertisement

In Mahone Bay, N.S., Lisa Ali Learning discovered this the hard way when her two sons, then 11 and 9, came down with mysterious swollen joints, eventually found to be caused by tick-borne disease. They recovered with antibiotics but “it was huge eye-opener,” said Ms. Learning, who, with an Acadia University researcher, went on to develop a natural spray that is awaiting approval from Health Canada as a tick repellent. “I was completely ignorant, and that was a problem.” Now her family is vigilant about daily tick checks.

Dr. Rusk offered this advice: “We don’t say people are weird for wearing a mask, we say that’s appropriate.” It’s the same with tucking your pants into your socks when you enjoy the woods – another new normal so Canadians can stay safe outdoors.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos



Pictures Credit

ExBUlletin

to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]