TOUCHED BY LYME: Recognizing maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease
Good news: According to the advocacy organization LymeHope, top Canadian health officials have acknowledged the reality of maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease.
This is a huge step forward, in terms of proper care for pregnant women and their offspring. (At least in Canada! The US is far from any similar declaration, alas.)
Advocates Sue Faber, Jennifer Kravis and Tamara House (known affectionately to thousands as “the Lyme moms,” last week continued their on-going discussions with officials of the Federal Public Health Agency of Canada.
As they reported on the LymeHope website:
We were incredibly honoured to have U. S. Dr. Charles Ray Jones, MD, the world’s foremost expert in pediatric and adolescent tick-borne diseases, join in this meeting.
Dr. Jones shared his experience of treating over 30,000 children, from every continent in the world and every Province of Canada, over 60 years of practicing medicine and saving lives.
He talked about the hundreds of congenitally infected children he has seen, and more importantly, how he has been able to cure them of their tick-borne diseases and allow them to live healthy lives. A short 1 minute video about Dr. Jones pioneering work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsH5W3I0GM8
32 years ago, in 1988, our Public Health issued a bulletin stating that transplacental transmission of Lyme disease had been documented, and yet somehow, despite 30 years going by, the majority of Canadians and medical professionals remain unaware of this.
Even worse, many experts have stated, to patients and publicly it “doesn’t exist.” We have been determined to change this. https://www.lymehope.ca/advocacy-updates/health-and-welfare-canada-1988-report
Today, our senior most officials at Public Health acknowledged that transplacental transmission of Lyme disease can occur, AND that they will be updating their website to reflect this.
LymeHope is already taking steps to engage and assemble a multi-disciplinary working group of medical experts, scientists and patient representatives to continue to work on this issue.
Their goal? To help bring about “a new reality” in Canada, where pregnant women and their medical professionals recognize the risks of maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease–and find ways to protect future generations from the devastating effects of tick-borne infections.
Kudos to the Lyme Moms and all who have worked with them to bring about this important development. And kudos to Public Health Canada. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that it exists.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.