Media Advisory - Updates on Lyme disease, a tick-transmitted Zoonosis, and mosquito-borne infections

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Canada's leading clinical and medical
microbiologists and infectious disease specialists will gather in Vancouver,
BC, on February 28, 2008, starting at 8:00 am, to listen to a presentation
that describes the epidemiology of Lyme disease, and the prospects for control
and prevention. Participants will also learn about and discuss some
mosquito-borne viruses transmitted within Canada to humans; and give an update
on the public health impact of Canadians encountering travel-associated

    -   Recent Trends and Controversies of Lyme Disease - Participants will
        hear the latest information about the disease and the necessary
        measures required to report, contain and treat infected individuals.

    -   A Canadian Perspective to Mosquito-Borne Viruses: Participants will
        hear an update on Canada's latest development in the diagnosis,
        surveillance and treatment of mosquito-borne viral associated
        illnesses such as the West Nile; and public health measures to
        respond to these mosquito-transmitted diseases.

    All educational sessions, clinical vignettes and symposia are open to
media. The Annual Conference is organized by the Association of Medical
Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada ( and the Canadian
Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (

    About Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium that is carried and transmitted
through bites from several species of ticks. Although the risk of contracting
Lyme disease is highest in the regions where ticks are established,
researchers have shown that there is a low risk of encountering the relevant
tick vectors in areas currently considered to be non-endemic. In addition, it
appears that the ticks may be establishing themselves in new areas that are
currently unidentified.
    The first sign of early Lyme disease is the appearance of a 'bull's-eye'
skin rash. The infection may spread and involve the joints, and occasionally
the nervous system, and the heart.
    Prompt treatment with antibiotics is very effective in curing Lyme
disease. Death from Lyme disease is very rare.

    About West Nile Virus

    For most Canadians, the risk of West Nile virus infection is low, and the
risk of serious health effects from the virus is even lower. However, anyone
exposed to mosquitoes in an area where West Nile virus is active is at risk
for infection. Some individuals with weaker immune systems are at risk of
developing more serious infections such as meningitis (inflammation of the
lining of the brain or spinal cord), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
and acute flaccid paralysis (a polio-like syndrome that can result in the loss
of function of one or more limbs).
    At this time, there is no specific treatment, for West Nile virus.

For further information:

For further information: about the AMMI Canada - CACMID Annual
Conference 2008 go to To pre-register for the
Conference or to request an interview, please contact: Grace Elasmar, AMMI
Canada, Tel. (905) 820-4922, Cell. (416) 452-4624,

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