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June 23, 2014 10:27 ET

Could Canada's Blood Supply Already be Contaminated by Lyme Disease?

Journalist Vanessa Farnsworth questions whether Canadian Blood Services policies are putting Canadians at risk in a live webcast Monday, June 23, 8:00 pm EDT

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 23, 2014) - When people who have presented with symptoms of undiagnosed Lyme disease are allowed to give blood - and they are - how can we be sure that blood does not contaminate the Canadian blood supply? Is it already contaminated and we don't yet have the technology to know? With the tests Canadian doctors use to diagnose Lyme disease so notoriously inaccurate, how can Canadians know with any certainty that our blood supply is adequately checked and monitored for it?

According to Canadian Blood Services, "On average, every minute of every day, someone needs blood or blood products in Canada. 52 per cent of Canadians say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment. (Ipsos-Reid) Blood and blood components are used to treat a number of injuries and illnesses, including various forms of cancer, hip and joint surgery, transplants, trauma patients such as car accident victims, patients with blood disorders, and many others." CBS's slogan is "It's in you to give." And that's precisely what's so worrisome.

Lyme disease is an emerging epidemic in Canada and it is imperative that we protect the country's blood supply from Lyme and its related pathogens/parasites We can't afford to repeat the same mistakes that were made during the HIV epidemic.

Vanessa will be opening the webcast with a detailed statement which addresses these vital questions in a comprehensive manner and references the various research papers that support the urgent need for answers to them.

Live webcast:

Monday, June 23, at 8:00 p.m. EDT

The text of Vanessa's statement will be simultaneously published online for media.

On-line statement:

Available at 8:00 p.m., Monday, June 23

We look forward to having you join us.

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