Thursday, September 8, 2011


Written by Suzanne Robson

A PRESTON woman diagnosed with Lyme disease is calling on the State Government to fund research into the controversial tick-borne disease.

Renee Loricchiella, 32, (pictured) said she suffered years of chronic pain, rashes and neurological problems, having become unwell after a holiday to Malaysia in 2007.

In September last year she was admitted to hospital for six months after vaccinations triggered chronic abdominal pain and numbness in her legs and face.

“I have spent over $90,000 since September and seen over 70 doctors. They thought it could be fibromyalgia, or a pain syndrome or multiple sclerosis,” Ms Loricchiella said.

This year Dr Peter Mayne, a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society, diagnosed her with the disease.

Ms Loricchiella said antibiotics prescribed by Dr Mayne were slowly working; so she could put her energy into helping others with the disease.

Critics have called on the Government to investigate the disease, including whether it can be locally transmitted.

State Health Department spokesman Bram Alexander said it was not a “notifiable condition” in Victoria.

He said anyone going to areas where the disease was known, such as the US or Europe, should take measures to avoid tick bites.

This month Australia’s inaugural Lyme Disease Appeal will be held by the Karl McManus Foundation to raise money for the research and prevention of the disease.

To donate, visit

© 2011 News Community Media ticked-off-in-preston/

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lyme misdiagnosed (CFS, MS, Arthritis, Bell’s Palsy, SLE)

Written by Zoe Lewis
Rhonda Murphy has battled Lyme disease since 2004, although it took four years before she was diagnosed with the condition.

WHEN Rowville mother-of-three Rhonda Murphy was bitten by a tick in 2004 while on holiday in Scotland, she had no idea it would leave her sick for the rest of her life.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, Mrs Murphy had contracted Lyme Disease and after arriving home developed meningitis, Bell’s Palsy and severe eczema - all symptoms of the condition.

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She said she was constantly sick, but doctors looked at the symptoms in isolation.

Over the next few years, she was put on antibiotics and told by doctors she had chronic fatigue syndrome and a similar condition called fibromyalgia.

“I felt like a hypochondriac,” Mrs Murphy said.

A gastroenterologist finally gave her a blood test that was positive to the disease, but despite treatment, her condition did not improve.

She was told about treatment clinics in Germany and the US, and with the help of a local doctor sent blood tests away and received medication to treat the disease.

Mrs Murphy, 56, said Australian doctors needed to be more aware of the disease and more willing to treat it.

She has spent more than $200,000 on treatment and said she was now “90 per cent in remission”, but still took medication and used holistic therapies to control symptoms.

The former teacher and curriculum co-ordinator said she would not be able to work again.

She said if someone was diagnosed within a month of being bitten, a course of antibiotics could cure Lyme Disease, but symptoms of the condition varied for each person, making diagnosis hard.

This month sees the launch of the inaugural Lyme Disease Appeal, to raise money for the Karl McManus Foundation for Lyme Disease Research and Awareness.

Mr McManus was diagnosed with the disease after being bitten by a tick in Sydney in July, 2007 and died last year.

The foundation is aiming to raise $1 million to fund a research centre at Sydney University.

Details: www.karlmcmanus"

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