The following press release was received by Caudwell Lyme Disease. This event is not organised by the charity.
On May 24th, Lady Mar will be supporting Lyme sufferers at Parliament Square in London. They will be protesting about the current inadequate NHS test for Lyme: poor diagnosis by GP’s and insufficient treatment for this debilitating disease.
They are also calling for Lyme borreliosis to be made a Schedule 1 notifiable disease, so that the true UK incidence of Lyme is recognised. Germany has around 250,000 cases a year compared to official UK figures of around 1,000 but Lyme sufferers believe the UK is in the midst of an unrecognised epidemic with an annual incidence of Lyme borreliosis in England and Wales more likely to be between 15,000 and 30,000 cases.
A Petition to the Government, signed by 10,473 UK residents means the Government will have to respond. In a recent debate, the House of Lords said “The Government should investigate Lyme Disease as 3000 new cases a year is probably only the tip of the iceberg. There should be UK Guidance – too many Doctors and Consultants are still unaware of Lyme Disease.”
Dr. Chris Newton, (MSc PhD Research Scientist) BioMedical Research Scientist questions the NHS’s current blood tests for Lyme which “employs only one or two antigens and can result in patients being misdiagnosed as negative for Lyme Borreliosis.”
Lyme protests will also be taking place around the world during May in America, Scandinavia and Europe.
Lyme disease (Lyme Borreliosis) is a tick borne infection which can have devastating symptoms if left untreated, these include fever, chills, headache, sleep disturbances, pain in muscles and joints, arthritis, heart problems, bladder problems, paralysis, facial palsy, a bullseye rash, chronic fatigue, dizziness, breathing difficulties, dementia, memory loss, seizures, psychiatric problems, tinnitus, blindness, meningitis, encephalitis, problems with balance and occasionally death.
Conditions such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and Bi-polar disease and Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) have often been misdiagnosed when the sufferer actually has Lyme disease. There is also evidence that Lyme Borreliosis can be transmitted sexually and maternally. Research from 1986 onwards, shows that it has caused stillbirths and damage to the foetus in pregnancy.
For the last 25 years the NHS has been using diagnostic tests for Lyme Borreliosis that are known to be inaccurate and unreliable. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of symptomatic patients being systematically denied treatment. Antibody testing for cases of clinically diagnosed Lyme disease is only between 20% and 60% reliable, depending on the test employed. Antibody tests depend on the response of the immune system to the invading pathogen and this can vary considerably from individual to individual. In view of this many Infectious Disease doctors turn patients away because of negative NHS blood tests.
Dr Sin Lee, Connecticut, U.S.A., wrote recently:
“No medical scientist in his or her right mind would suggest measuring antibody levels or antibody patterns to screen ebola patients for isolation and early intervention….”
Lyme Disease Action, a UK Charity says “the current level of diagnosis is appalling.” www.lymediseaseaction.org
Lyme Statistics in the UK compared with European countries:
The Protest takes place on May 24th, 11 am-1400. Parliament Square,
16 Great George St, SW1A 2 London.
Sarah Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information and interviews please contact Angela Howard