BEAUTY AND THE WEE TICK - Photo taken in Killarney National Park Ireland.
An interesting article published today in Science Daily should be heeded by our Health Authorities in UK and Ireland, taking tick borne diseases more seriously may help to reduce our rising healthcare costs.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of public health looked at cases of Lyme Disease.
'New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that a prolonged illness associated with the disease is more widespread and serious in some patients than previously understood. With an estimated 240,000 to 440,000 new cases of the tick-borne illness diagnosed every year, the researchers found that Lyme disease costs the U.S. health care system between $712 million and $1.3 billion a year -- or nearly $3,000 per patient on average -- in return doctor visits and testing, likely to investigate the cause of some patients' lingering symptoms of fatigue, musculoskeletal pain and memory problems. These visits come after patients have finished their original course of antibiotics.'
'The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 to 20 percent of those treated for Lyme disease with the recommended two-to-four week course of antibiotics continue to have symptoms. But, in the new study, the researchers found that more than 63 percent of those treated for Lyme disease had at least one PTLDS-related diagnosis -- a rate 36 percentage points higher than those who did not have Lyme disease.'
'The study's lead author John Aucott, MD, an assistant professor of rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says it does no good to keep debating the existence of long-term problems related to Lyme disease while people are suffering a debilitating illness. And he says that increasing awareness of potential complications is crucial to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary medical testing.
"These patients are lost," he says. "No one really knows what to do with them. It's a challenge, but the first thing we need to do is recognize this is a problem. There's not a magic pill. These patients already got the magic pill and it didn't work."
"Health care costs, utilization and patterns of care following Lyme disease" was written by Emily Adrion, MSc; John Aucott, MD; Klaus Lemke, PhD; and Jonathan P. Weiner, DrPH.
This research was funded by a grant from the Lyme Disease Research Foundation.'
All too often Public Health England quotes the numbers of positive serological cases currently about 1000 a year in England and Wales but fail to recognise that even CDC accept now that the true figures are likely to be 10x that of positive serological cases.
You do the maths but I make that £20,007,000 a year for England and Wales.
At a recent Parliamentary meeting on Lyme disease - our PHE 'expert' claimed that being an island we had less cases, but this fails to consider two important factors - one that ticks are carried by birds Intercontinentally and that Borrelia infection (Lyme Disease) has been around for 15 million years.
Lack of research and lack of a reliable test may have more to do with the lack of cases found in the UK and Ireland.
Link to Parliamentary meeting here http://lookingatlyme.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/lyme-disease-parliamentary-meeting.html