Lyme Disease positive NHS serology England and Wales
for 2009 -867
a 6 fold increase in ten years!!
02 June 2010
Tick awareness for the Scottish summer
Earlier in May, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) produced advice on tick risks in the great outdoors.
1 Late spring, early summer and autumn are peak times for tick bites and coincide with people venturing into the more rural areas for the warmer weather.
The National Lyme Disease Testing Laboratory in Inverness has seen a dramatic increase in Lyme borreliosis in Scotland which it estimated in 2009 at 5.9/100,000 population but with an incidence rate of 43.4/100,000 population in the Highlands of Scotland.
2 During the months of July to September the incidence rate can double.An assessment of Lyme borreliosis has shown also that clinical features in Scotland have differences to other countries.
3 It is worth noting that only 59% of seropositive patients could recollect having a tick bite. This underlines the importance of patients having regular inspections of their bodies after exposure. Only 57% of seropositive patients had the characteristic erythema migrans rash and this is lower than other published reports.The urban and rural risks of Lyme borreliosis have also been recently studied.
4 Those living in the more rural areas of the Highland region had the greatest risk of acquiring the infection, especially if within 200m of woodland. The HPA advice is very relevant to Scotland and it is important to raise tick awareness.Ticks are very small (about the size of a poppy seed), and can easily be overlooked, so it is important to check regularly. Most ticks do not carry the infection. If one is found it should be removed promptly, as infected ticks are unlikely to transmit the organism if they are removed in the early stages of attachment. Ticks can be removed with tweezers or special tick hooks, pulling gently upwards away from the skin.The HPA advice on minimising the risk of being bitten by an infected tick is to:* wear appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long sleeved shirt and long trousers tucked into socks). Light coloured fabrics are useful, as it is easier to see ticks against a light background * consider using insect repellents, e.g. DEET-containing preparations * inspect skin frequently and remove any attached ticks * at the end of the day, check again thoroughly for ticks, especially in skin folds * make sure that children’s head and neck areas, including scalps, are properly checked * check that ticks are not brought home on clothes * check that pets do not bring ticks into the home on their fur.
Further information and guidance is available on the HPS factsheet What do I need to know about ticks and tick borne diseases? at http://www.documents.hps.scot.nhs.uk/giz/general/tick-factsheet-2009-04.pdf.References1. HPA Press Release. Be tick aware when visiting the great outdoors. 2010. Available from: http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2010PressReleases/2. Milner RM, Mavin S, Ho-Yen DO. Lyme borreliosis in Scotland during two peak periods. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2009; 39:196–9. Available from: http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/39-3.php.3. Milner RM, Mavin S, Ho-Yen DO. Lyme borreliosis in Scotland is different. J Infect 2009; 59:146-7.4. Mavin S, Hopkins PC, MacLennan A, Joss AWL, Ho-Yen DO. The urban and rural risks of Lyme disease in the Scottish Highlands. SMJ 2009; 54(2):24-6. Available from: http://www.smj.org.uk/0509/0509%20index.htm. Websites* http://www.documents.hps.scot.nhs.uk/ewr/pdf2010/1022.pdf
Adding the above information to HPA websites is not my idea of raising awareness what is going to be done to alert those of us who live and spend time in the countryside?
Farming Today BBC program listen to podcast here
listen to the above podcast for Farming Today 11.08.10 at about 4.26
Only available for another 6 days.
Interview with Prof John Fazakerley about the £2.5 million research money for tick borne illnesses.
During the above podcast the figures of positively tested
Lyme Disease cases in Scotland for 2009 were quoted as 600.
An enormous rise from the 37 cases in 2000.
Dr Ho Yen of HPA in Scotland and CDC say that the resal figure for Lyme Disease is probably about 10 x that of the serologically positive tested cases.
lets do some sums
867 +600= 1467 x 10=14670
Now many on Eurolyme have been chronically ill years before diagnosis some 20-30 years and also years to recover in my case a total of 7 so lets be conservative and say a mean of 5 years.
14670 x 5 = 73350
We could be talking of about
Seventy three thousand yes 73000 people in the UK suffering with Lyme Disease
many will be undiagnosed or mis diagnosed with Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Polymyalgia Rheumatica some in my locality were diagnosed with depression another psychosis and the latest case had been diagnosed with Parkinson's others I am in touch with, have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and one motor Neurons.
Apart from the cost to these individuals of loss of health, many will be unable to work full time and thus claiming benefits.
The burden on the tax payer in itself should make our government sit down and think about this problem.