With unanimous consent from all parties, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett’s infectious diseases bill (Bill 27) was passed. It calls on the government to establish guidelines for the prevention of vector-borne diseases through education and research.
Vector-borne diseases are those that rely upon organisms such as mosquitoes, ticks, or sandflies to transmit a pathogen from one host to another.
Barrett says the province needs to move forward with making decisions about treatment and diagnosis based on neutral, objective science. This legislation is set up to put a framework in place and allow experts to make the decisions, he says.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Lyme disease can have many symptoms if left untreated, ranging from a flu-like illness in the early stages, to more serious symptoms affecting the central nervous system, brain, or heart.
The Ministry says those who camp, fish, hike, or hunt should wear light-coloured clothing, avoid shrubs or grassy areas, wear long sleeves and long pants, and for extra protection, tuck pants into socks. It’s also recommended that people use a bug repellent containing DEET, though they should read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the repellent on themselves or children.
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