May is Lyme disease awareness month.
Reliable statistics are not yet available in Canada but a recent American study by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention increased their estimates of infection to 476,000 people per year. That easily makes Lyme the most prevalent vector-borne disease on this continent.
Geneticks is a private laboratory in Ontario and, with the financial assistance of CanLyme, has developed interactive tick maps that include data such as infection prevalence, seasonal tick activity, and regional species composition. It’s a first of its kind service in Canada.
“The Geneticks Statistics Center is a public resource designed to provide user-friendly access to tick and tick-borne data collected throughout Canada,” said Justin Wood, CEO Geneticks.
Wood unveiled his interactive tick tracking service on the CanLyme sponsored podcast, Looking at Lyme. Host Sarah Cormode contracted Lyme disease a decade ago in Victoria and has been speaking with the world’s leading Lyme disease experts on the CanLyme podcast.
“It’s been a real educational journey for me talking to people all over the world about Lyme disease and treatment,” says Cormode. “We’re just getting a handle how fast Lyme is spreading and the Geneticks statistic center is a tremendous help”.
The Statistics Center will be updated annually to reflect on-going changes in tick populations and tick-borne pathogen distribution in Canada.
The Looking at Lyme podcast can be heard at email@example.com