Today, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Gregory Taylor launched a consultation process to support the development of a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.
This consultation will solicit perspectives on Lyme disease from the medical community, governments, patients' groups, as well as individual Canadians.
Specific feedback will be solicited on three key themes of the Federal Framework, as outlined in the Act:
- National medical surveillance: to track incidence rates and the associated economic costs of Lyme disease in Canada.
- Guidelines and best practices: the prevention, identification, treatment and management of Lyme disease and sharing of best practices throughout Canada.
- Education and awareness: to develop standardized educational materials for use by Canadian public health providers to increase national awareness about the disease.
The Public Health Agency of Canada's current Action Plan on Lyme Disease will serve as a platform for the development of the Federal Framework. It aims to mitigate the risks to Canadians posed by Lyme disease through three pillars: engagement, education and awareness; surveillance, prevention and control; and research and diagnosis.
Stakeholders and the public are invited to participate in the online consultation. Comments will be accepted until June 30, 2015.
A Conference will be held with invited stakeholders later this year where the input received through the consultation will inform the development of the Framework.
- Lyme disease is a serious emerging infectious disease in many parts of Canada and is caused by the bite of blacklegged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
- Populations of blacklegged ticks are growing. This means that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada.
- The Government of Canada has invested close to $5 million for Lyme disease research since 2006.
- In 2014, the Agency launched a public awareness campaign on Lyme disease to educate and raise awareness among the general public and health care providers. Activities will continue through to the fall of 2015.
"The Public Health Agency of Canada is dedicated to reducing the health risks to Canadians posed by Lyme disease. Our Action Plan on Lyme Disease has set a solid foundation for this consultation and for the collaborative development of the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease with our partners and stakeholders."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada