Friday, August 27, 2010

Australian Doctor's Crusade on Lyme Disease Awareness

DOC'S ON TICK CRUSADE - Port Macquarie News
21 Jul, 2010 04:00 AM

A LAURIETON doctor has vowed to boost awareness about a tick-borne disease health authorities say does not exist here.

GP Dr Peter Mayne is treating 12 patients for Lyme disease. Another two patients are being tested for the disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can affect the nervous system, heart and joints if untreated.

A Sydney woman was awarded a Supreme Court injunction to have her dead husband tested for the disease earlier this week because the NSW Health Department maintains no case has been transmitted in Australia

NSW Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt said two months ago there was not enough evidence to support the existence of the organisms that cause it.

But Dr Mayne said a test did exist that could give absolute proof of Lyme disease.
The illness is treated with antibiotics.

“It’s a really difficult disease to diagnose,” he said.

Dr Mayne has had an interest since 1992 in the early infection that goes on to cause chronic Lyme disease.

He believes more needs to be done to increase awareness within the medical community and beyond.

Since March, Dr Mayne has updated and edited his website in a bid to do just that.

“The website is an attempt to educate the medical profession,” he said.

He also is searching for doctors who have had Lyme disease.

Public education about Lyme disease and what to do in the case of tick bite also was needed, Dr Mayne said.

The GP advises people to remove the tick, ideally with tweezers to remove as much of the head as possible.

Lyme disease is not on the notifiable disease list which, under law, must be reported to public health authorities.

Dr Mayne said Lyme disease was not passed from one person to another and should not be a notifiable disease.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the world.

Newcastle-based medical microbiologist Dr Stephen Graves said most Lyme disease research came from the USA, Canada and Europe.

Dr Graves said he was open minded about the question of whether Lyme disease existed in Australia.

“People are getting tick-borne diseases that are clinically consistent with Lyme disease,” he said.

But he said the jury was still out on whether Lyme disease was endemic to Australia.
NSW Health did not respond to the Port News late yesterday.

A 2004 NSW Health “tick alert” brochure said the bacteria known to cause the disease in other parts of the world had not been found in Australia.

Quoted from website:

No comments:

Post a Comment