Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most B.C. doctors not trained to diagnose Lyme disease

By Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver Sun March 28, 2011:

VANCOUVER -- B.C. doctors are failing to comply with a requirement to report all cases of Lyme disease to public health authorities and are confused about diagnosing it, according to a report published in the current B.C. Medical Journal.

Humans can get Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick. The black-legged, sesame-seed-sized tick is found throughout southern B.C.

Two weeks of early treatment with antibiotics is essential to prevent potentially serious long-term disabilities such as arthritis, persistent pain, fatigue, neurological symptoms or even death.

Two-thirds of doctors said they know Lyme disease is a reportable one. And yet, only 10 cases were officially reported to the BC Centre for Disease Control last year, a number similar to previous years.

But a survey done in 2008 — and only now released — shows that 148 doctors recalled diagnosing 221 cases in 2007. In that year, only 13 cases were officially reported. Read more>>

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