Improve NHS testing for Lyme Disease, fund research & revise current treatment protocols.
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NHS Choices say 'Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks. It's usually easier to treat if it's diagnosed early.' The incidence of Lyme disease is increasing dramatically and in the UK figures say each year around 3K cases are diagnosed in the UK. However, due to flaws in current NHS testing a majority of people are misdiagnosed and therefore left with no effective treatments often leading to ongoing symptoms consistent with Chronic Lyme Disease. Therefore these figures may be much higher and it could be possible we are within a Lyme Disease epidemic or it could certainly be heading this way if action is not taken.
Ticks are known as 'nature's dirty needles' carrying multiple infectious pathogens that can also cause health problems due to these known as:
- Q fever
- Tick-Borne Encephalitis
The risk of certain co-infections obviously is dependent on the species of tick and the country of origin. As the risk is currently unknown and commonly patients have ongoing symptoms consistent with Chronic Lyme Disease then this should not automatically be dismissed as 'all in their head' or delusional.
In the UK, there have been cases whereby patients that are diagnosed and treated as per National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines have found that the treatment given was not effective. This highlights questions that need to be asked as to whether people with positive tests should be treated a) for longer periods or b) with a combination of medications and research would help provide those suffering with the answers they desperately need. Many people living with Lyme Disease seek testing and treatment abroad if financially able to afford it but where does this leave those who cannot? It leaves them facing being dismissed and ignored by the current healthcare system unless effective testing and treatments are found.
NHS Choices state that 'Only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease' Is this based on up-to-date research? If not, as the environment is breeding an increase in Ticks we need more research to be fully informed of the risks involved to those living in the UK.
NHS Choices Link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/
We call on Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to allocate funding to be used to immediately research into developing new tests, effective treatments and related co-infections that can exist in those with Chronic Lyme Disease that are currently dismissed by Healthcare Professionals.
Main areas that should be addressed are as follows;
1. NHS Testing should be improved to ensure correct diagnosis of Lyme Disease can be made as promptly as possible. Until such times, patients that have been tested abroad and are found to be positive should be able to have this recognised by the NHS and necessary treatment given.
2. NICE Guidelines should be revised after much needed research to provide optimum treatment for those diagnosed with Lyme Disease and any risk of co-infections taken into account at whatever stage the person may be either during or post the course of treatment.
3. Further Education for Healthcare Professionals to help diagnose, treat and monitor the patient with Lyme Disease as well as ricks of co-infection and ongoing symptoms consistent with Chronic Lyme Disease.
4. Education for the public to explains the risks of Ticks, how to protect themselves, signs & symptoms, how to address a tick bite and campaigns to ensure this is far reaching to help reduce a potential epidemic.
5. Research on ways to eradicate or vaccinate against infectious pathogens ticks carry and guidelines on treatment of ongoing symptoms consistent with Chronic Lyme Disease.
Please sign the petition to help those living with the symptoms of Lyme Disease and also to protect future generations and share using hashtag #Lymetoo especially if you are living with it OR use #LymeAction #Lymewarriors to support the petition.
Thank You for the support, it is sincerely much appreciated.
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