Monday, 9 August 2010


BBC's Pearce Recovering From Lyme Disease

BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce contracted Lyme Disease during his time in South Africa for the World Cup. The veteran broadcaster broke the news on his Twitter account earlier this week ''Bit of bad news. Contracted lyme disease in South Africa, a tick borne paralisis. Now clearing up it seems but scary for a week or two.''There have been no further updates on this story by the media or from Pearce himself. Pearce covered 15 World Cup matches over the summer, including the 3rd place game between Germany and Uruguay.Read more:

Jonathan Pearce appears to have been lucky in that his Lyme Disease seems to have been diagnosed early in his illness when antibiotics are more effective in eradicating the infection.

Jonathan Pearce also appears to be lucky in that he no doubt will have been diagnosed either by a Bulls eye rash something that many doctors don't recognise as the hall mark of Lyme Disease and something that 40% of cases do not get, or serology which can miss 50% of cases or maybe lumber puncture which is only 17% likely to find the right spot where the infection is.

Lets hope he is also lucky in being treated long enough to eradicate the infection many treated on the two weeks low dose of antibiotics recommended in IDSA guidelines and followed by our Health Protection agency in UK find to their cost that their symptoms return gradually over the next months and years.

If this happens with Jonathan will he be told by his doctors that his remaining symptoms are all in his head or the aches and pains of daily life? or will he like many thousands of others find a Lyme literate medical doctor something particularly rare to find in the UK and dismissed by HPA who so vehemently follow IDSA restrictive and discredited guidelines.

However if Jonathan does some homework he will find that ILADS and Burrascano Guidelines recommend a 6-8 week course of antibiotics even at the Rash stage and their dosage is about twice as much as IDSA/HPA would advise.

I wonder how aware Jonathan is that Lyme is endemic in many places in the UK and can in fact be caught throughout the UK. The real problem is that patients are dismissed with many mis diagnosis and Lyme Disease is rarely considered as a differential diagnosis.

Jonathan Pearce says 'a tick borne paralysis' and 'scary for a week or two' what he doesn't know is that thousands of patients the World over suffer his scary symptoms not like I suspect he had as an Acute illness more easily diagnosed by our doctors but as a chronic insidious illness that creeps up slowly over the years but does indeed lead to years if not the rest of our lives with those scary symptoms depending on whether patients get a Lyme Disease diagnosis or not and if they do find a Lyme literate medical doctor who has treated sufficient numbers of patients to really understand the complexities of this dreadful disease.

Hopefully Jonathan will not repeat the experience of Rugby coach Mike Gregory. click here

or 'Karl McManus, died last Wednesday - three years after he was bitten by a tick she says carried Lyme disease, a bacterial infection which, if left untreated, can cause profound neurological damage' click here

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