May is Lyme Awareness Month and the World Wide Lyme Protest is being held on the 16th to 18th of May this year. I have created my Lyme Awareness giveaway so that there is an incentive for people to re-gram my Lyme Awareness photo. I hope that when people see the photo, they will google the disease and find out more about it. I have Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease and it is very debilitating, you can read a little about how much a struggle in my Lyme and Loss post. My Lyme Disease is very advanced so I have very few treatment options available and I cannot afford any of them. I hope that more awareness will make the Australian Government act so that less people need to suffer. I also hope people will understand Lyme more so that there is less stigma attached to the name and more compassion showed for those who suffer. If just one person catches their symptoms early and realises it’s Lyme so that they can get early treatment, this will all be worth it. There is a list of the most common symptoms on the Lyme Disease Australia Website which is also a great resource for anything to do with Lyme.

The Melbourne Lyme Awareness protest is being held at Federation Square on the 17th of May. I am too sick to participate but I hope there is a big crowd and lots of news coverage. The protests are trying to highlight the need for:
(I copied the dot points below from the Worldwide Lyme Protest Facebook page that you can visit for more information.)

1. Recognition that Lyme disease/borreliosis , and other
tick-borne infections, such as Babesia, Bartonella, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, are
serious, and sometimes fatal illnesses.
2. Awareness of the fact that the transmission of tick-borne
pathogens, such as borrelia, babesia, rickettsia, via blood transfusion is of
global concern.
3. Agreement that Lyme disease/borreliosis should be listed
as a notifiable infection. Notifiable status will aid in ensuring that the
incidence and spread of this disease are monitored, a necessary precursor to
determining the human suffering and socioeconomic impact of the disease.
4. Education of the healthcare sector regarding the accurate
diagnosis of Lyme, which in some cases may be limited to clinical presentation
due to limitations of serological testing.
*Education should ensure all doctors are familiar with the
CDC caution pertaining to criteria for blood tests for Lyme: “This surveillance
case definition was developed for national reporting of Lyme disease; it is NOT
appropriate for clinical diagnosis…Surveillance case definitions are created
for the purpose of standardization, not patient care.”
* Education that Lyme should be included as a differential
diagnosis when considering other illnesses that are also reliant on subjective
clinical presentation, or have no known cause. This includes, but is not
limited to: Motor Neurone Disease (MND) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or Amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS) ; Multiple Sclerosis ; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s
disease; Sarcoidosis.
5. Education of the healthcare sector regarding affordable
and effective treatment of both acute and chronic Lyme and other tick-borne
infections. This includes the need to update the outdated treatment guidelines
of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and to take into account
the treatment methods of other Societies such as: The International Lyme and
Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) and the German Borreliosis Society
(Deutsche Borreliose-Gesellschaft : DBG)
6. Funding for research into tick-borne diseases. Including:
Funding for medical research into accurate Lyme testing and treatment ; Funding
for research into vectors and reservoir hosts to determine what diseases they
may carry and transmit.

 I also found a recent Perth News article about Lyme that is worth a read. Lyme Disease is slowly being picked up by Australian news reporters.

I hope that you will share this post and my Instagram giveaway (@alintamcmurdo) so that more people can find out about Lyme Disease.

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Alinta McMurdo