The federal government is funding a new national research network in Kingston, Ont., to try and stop the spread of Lyme disease.
The $4-million project will be headquartered at Queen’s University and led by Dr. Kieran Moore, a Queen’s professor and medical officer of health for the area.
Moore said climate change is causing warmer winters, giving ticks a better chance of surviving and spreading the potentially debilitating disease.
Human cases of the the tick-borne bacterial disease, which can affect joints, the heart and the brain, are on the rise across Canada.
In Kingston alone, the number of confirmed cases tripled from approximately 60 in 2016 to more than 180 in 2017, Moore said.
The new network will bring together scientists and doctors from more than 40 institutions, along with patients, to improve prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment.
“For the most part, once you’re treated the infection is resolved. But some patients, even if they’re treated appropriately, get ongoing symptoms,” Moore said in an interview on Ontario Morning Tuesday.
“We have created a network that hopefully can … be able to monitor patients to see if there are more effective treatments for people with ongoing symptoms.”