Uninvited Guests

Rats will come if you leave garbage lying around.  Mosquitoes will breed if you allow stagnant water to accumulate.  Householders can readily take practical steps to stop these visits. It is much more difficult to discourage “visitors” attracted to our country by global warming.  The slight change in average temperature encourages their migration to Northern areas where the climate is now more accommodating to their existence.

One such visitor is the wood tick.  This annoying pest common to the wooded areas of the Eastern United States is now populating Ontario woodlands.  Unfortunately the wood tick is a carrier for a serious disease:  “Lyme’s Disease”.  Ontarians are not familiar with the bite of a wood tick as it has not been part of our common experience.  As they don’t recognize its bite, they are not alerted to risks of the disastrous health consequences that could follow.

Elizabeth May is attempting to raise public awareness of this serious menace. Her party’s newsletter referred to the sad experience of Hannah, an Ontario resident.

Almost 9 years ago, Hannah went to Southern Ontario on holiday. Despite using bug repellent she was bitten by ticks on her trip.

Unfortunately for Hannah the tick that bit her carried Lyme disease, which is an often misdiagnosed illness in its early stages.

Hannah soon developed a rash and other symptoms, but doctor after doctor failed to find the proper diagnosis. Finally, after 7 months Hannah was diagnosed with Lyme disease by an Infectious Disease Specialist. Only for her, treatment was not an option, as she was just weeks from having her first baby.

She waited until after the delivery, and then began the long process of trying to control the disease, a disease which also infected her child.

This sad event led Ms. May to introduce a private members bill proposing a national conference of public health officials, researcher, and patient advocates as the first step to developing a comprehensive strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

If you want to read more about the devastation that

can be caused by these climate migrants go to

What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West?

Pine Beetles contribute to Forest Smog!

 

 

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